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Consider when informed consent may not be enough

Arizona patients put their health into their providers' hands. Before a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, he or she must be informed about the potential risks of this procedure and whether there are any alternatives. However, even when patients do receive this information, some surgeries may carry too much risk.

When a patient undergoes surgery, there are inherent risks including the possibility of surgical errors. However, in some cases, surgery may be the standard practice regarding a particular way to deal with a health concern. However, this process may not provide any more health benefits than a less invasive approach. This appears to be the case regarding the common practice of morcellation when undergoing a hysterectomy. In August, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that there was no increase in complication rates for women undergoing hysterectomy when morcellation was no longer part of the process.

Despite the lack of complications, the medical community still stood behind this seemingly unnecessary practice, stating that the patient was informed of all potential risks and should have the right to decide how to proceed with his or her own healthcare decision. However, opponents state that this response shows an absence of professional responsibility and lack of accountability on the part of healthcare providers. Even if patients have a complete understanding of the risk of surgical errors and other consequences, this information may not be enough to not expose the patient to invasive procedures.

Patients who are concerned about surgical errors or whether they have all of the information necessary to make a good decision may decide to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. He or she may provide information regarding informed consent and when this information does not sufficiently or warn patients of the potential dangers.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

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