Doctors have an obligation to thoroughly advise their patients of the risks and benefits of any examination or procedure so that the patients can make educated decisions regarding whether to proceed with the suggested care. Physicians that neglect to adequately advise their patients prior to rendering treatment may be held liable for failing to obtain informed consent, but only if their shortcomings proximately cause their patients to suffer harm. The evidence needed to establish causation was discussed in a recent Maryland opinion, in a case in which the doctor’s behavior was so egregious the trial court found in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law. If you sustained damages due to your doctor’s communication errors, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.
The Patient’s Harm
It is reported that the plaintiff sought care from a urologist who had previously treated her due to kidney stones. The physician was unavailable, so his partner, the defendant, examined the plaintiff. As part of the examination, the defendant touched the plaintiff’s breasts and performed invasive digital pelvic and rectal examinations. The plaintiff felt defiled and subsequently developed PTSD and anxiety due to the examination.
Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging numerous claims, including failure to obtain informed consent. Following discovery, the court granted summary judgment on the plaintiff’s informed consent claim, but the parties proceeded to trial on the issue of damages. Contrary to the trial court ruling, the jury found that the lack of informed consent did not damage the plaintiff and ruled in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading