Signing up to a medical procedure requires your compliance. Whilst no medical procedure is entirely without risk you are entitled to choose what risks you choose to take. Consent is a part of this.  When a patient is to have an operation they are generally required to sign a form consenting to the procedure. This is the doctor’s evidence that you agreed to the risks and benefits of the operation proposed.

For the consent to be valid the doctor has to tell the patient enough about the risks and benefits of the proposed operation to allow an informed decision about whether to have it. You should be told about frequently occurring risks or rarer risks particularly if they have serious implications or consequences.

A failure to do this means that your consent has not been given properly.

If the operation goes wrong then this becomes relevant. Where consent is not properly given in these circumstances and the outcome is poor then the patient will justifiably be aggrieved that they were not advised in advance of relevant risks.

You may believe that had you been told of these risks you would have decided not to go ahead with the surgery. If so potentially you will be entitled to claim compensation for the medic’s failure to advise you properly of risk before the procedure was carried out.

Case reports

Pattinson and Brewer have been at the forefront of this area as these recent cases show:-

Pattinson and Brewer achieved £125,000.00 in compensation on behalf of a Claimant was not properly consented prior to a high tibial osteotomy. The consultant failed to provide a proper analysis of the Claimant’s treatment options before the operation. This meant that the Claimant was unable to properly consent to the treatment. A claim was made for the difference between the treatment the Claimant would have had as opposed to the treatment he was given.

Shortly after birth our client – EGW suffered respiratory complications.

Her mother had been told that for most women, giving birth in stand alone midwifery units or at home was as safe as a traditional labour ward in a fully equipped hospital

In the midwife led unit this was not recognised quickly enough and an ambulance was not called until the baby suffered a major collapse and cardiac arrest. She suffered brain damage as a result. If the EGW had been born in a fully equipped hospital, she would probably have had little or no disability . Our client’s mother should have been informed that in the event of a serious complication, only a fully equipped hospital could cope. The time lost having to transfer EGW made all the difference between serious brain injury and an uninjured child.

Our client received a lump sum of over £4 million and annual payments of @ £210,000 per annum from age 19 for life.

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