Medical Practitioner’s Defense Requires More than Consent Forms

Consent forms can be helpful in some situations, but effective medical practitioner’s defense requires more action than that. Take a look at some common questions about using release or consent forms to lower your risk of potential medical malpractice claims.

Medical Practitioner's Defense Requires More than Consent Forms

What is the purpose of a patient consent or release form?

If you’re like many health care practices these days, you ask your patients to sign a release form in order to obtain their informed consent for specific medical procedures. In most cases, these are pre-printed legal forms that allow you to insert the details about what treatment your patient will be receiving.

What are the advantages of a patient consent form?

Release forms can be valuable for both legal and communication purposes. They are a way to share written information with patients, which can be especially important in a medical setting where patients are often nervous and will appreciate having something they can refer to later. It can also protect you from complaints based on the lack of informed consent. While you should not rely on release forms alone, they can be one valuable element in conjunction with other defense strategies and tools.

What are the limitations of a patient consent form?

Release forms need to list the complications relevant to the medical procedure being performed. Omissions and misstatements could actually make you more vulnerable in a lawsuit so correct wording is vital. Informed consent also requires that the patient be mentally competent in order to understand what they are signing. Finally, keep in mind that a release form cannot serve as a defense to claims of negligence.

As a medical practitioner, you need to defend your rights and reputation. Contact us at ProAdvocate Group, a Private Membership Legal Association, to see how we can protect you from harassment and false complaints and help you in seeking justice.