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Articles Posted in Informed Consent

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Some people are unable to conceive a child naturally and rely on assisted reproductive technology (ART) to grow their families. In many instances, ART involves relatively new medical practices and procedures, the risks of which are unknown. Thus, a patient that suffers damage due to an undisclosed risk of an ART procedure may face some hurdles in the pursuit of damages. Recently, however, a Maryland court ruled that a plaintiff could pursue a failure to obtain an informed consent claim against an ART facility after a couple’s child was born with significant birth defects that they were not advised could occur due to the procedure. If you suffered harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to fully advise you of the risks of a procedure, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and his wife suffered from infertility. They turned to the defendant embryology practice for assistance conceiving and chose to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI, a procedure in which an egg is injected with a single sperm to form an embryo. They met with the defendant’s staff and received and signed consent forms that stated, in part, that while children born from IVF with ICSI did not seem to have an overall higher rate of congenital birth defects, the risk could not be precluded.

Allegedly, the plaintiff and his wife underwent the procedure, after which the wife became pregnant. Tragically, their unborn child was diagnosed with a disorder known as pentalogy of Cantrell, which causes severe heart issues, when the wife was six months pregnant. The plaintiff’s child was born and died a few months later, after undergoing numerous procedures. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging failure to obtain informed consent and other claims. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue Reading

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Physicians have a duty to provide patients with competent medical care, which includes advising a patient of his or her individual health risks as well as the risks and benefits of any potential tests or treatment. As shown in a recent Maryland case, if a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of available diagnostic tests and treatment options, and the patient’s health is adversely impacted as a result, it may be grounds for a lack of informed consent claim. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to advise you of your testing and treatment options, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant urologist in 2014 with complaints of urine in his blood. The defendant did not conduct any diagnostic tests to assess the plaintiff’s symptoms. Approximately a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with bladder cancer and kidney cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant setting forth claims of medical negligence and lack of informed consent, due to the defendant’s failure to advise the plaintiff of available tests or recommend that he undergo diagnostic testing.

Allegedly, prior to trial, the defendant filed numerous motions in limine asking the court to preclude the plaintiff from introducing evidence at trial, including a motion arguing that the plaintiff should not be able to present his lack of informed consent claim, arguing that the failure to recommend tests is not grounds for an informed consent claim. Continue Reading

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An intrauterine device (IUD) is a little, T-shaped piece of plastic inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is a type of long-term contraception that is considered to be 95 to 98 percent effective. One type of IUD releases a hormone (progesterone) and is replaced each year. The second type is made of copper and can be left in the body for five years. The most common shape, however, is a plastic “T” wrapped with copper wire. Mirena, Skyla, and ParaGard are common brands.

Prior to the placement of the IUD, the physician should take a woman’s medical history, conducting a physical examination as well as a pap test. After a full evaluation, the physician will be able to determine whether a woman can safely use an IUD. Some women are disqualified from using the device due to a variety of reasons. For example, a woman who suffers from abnormal vaginal bleeding or who is currently pregnant would not be able to use an IUD.

If it is deemed safe, a physician places an IUD into the uterus. The physician should take great care when doing this in order not to injure the woman. The improper insertion of an IUD can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician.

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In non-emergency situations, medical professionals are required to obtain a mentally competent patient’s “informed consent” for a particular course of treatment. The idea of informed consent is to give patients a meaningful opportunity to be informed about their own health care decisions. If you or someone you know did not have a chance to provide informed consent, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a skilled Baltimore injury attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we can analyze the facts of your case and determine whether you truly had a chance to make an informed decision about your health.

Under Maryland law, it is a physician’s duty to inform a patient of all potential benefits, risks and alternatives associated with the proposed procedure or course of treatment. This law is intended to give the patient all the information that would be needed to make an intelligent and informed decision about the treatment. It is important to note that a health care provider does not have to detail every possible risk associated with the treatment. Instead, the scope of disclosure is defined by what a hypothetical reasonable person would find material or important to the decision. A material risk is one which a physician knows or ought to know would be significant to a reasonable person in the patient’s position in deciding whether or not to submit to a particular medical treatment or procedure.

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