Only consent is given if the patient is fully informed about the risks of the treatment, the possible side effects, the associated costs, or the choice of treatment options available. If you lose or suffer an injury due to a scarcity of consent, you will likely possess a robust claim for medical negligence. Providers and hospitals could also be liable for continuing medical treatment without informing the patient. This is because the patient was forced into giving consent or given misleading information.
The consent needs to be more specific or will be given by someone who can’t offer consent. In some cases, an emergency will override the need for consent. It is important to know about the different legal Rights for the victims of medical negligence. This guest post covers the various aspects that the patients should be aware of.
Right to informed consent
Consent is the agreement between you and a healthcare provider to receive medical aid and treatment. This includes all tests, medications, treatments, and procedures you consent to.
A consent process is when an individual is given enough information to form informed decisions about their health and healthcare needs.
Medical procedures that need consent include:
- Physical checks
- Medical treatments
- Medical tests
- Medical procedures
Right to privacy and confidentiality
Privacy in a healthcare context refers to protecting private information, like the knowledge you provide to your healthcare provider, the knowledge they record about you, any medications you’re taking, and other personal information. You have a right to the present protection, and health service providers are required by law to suit laws that govern the gathering and recording of health information, the storage of data, and, therefore, the use and sharing of data.
Medical confidentiality is the legal framework that restricts who has access to the knowledge that’s exchanged between a patient and their healthcare professional.
Under the law, the knowledge exchanged between you and your healthcare professional must be confidential.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to the present rule.
- For example, if you’re seeing a replacement doctor for the first time, you can share your prior medical records with your new doctor.
- You can do that by giving your other doctors your written consent and allowing them to forward the knowledge in your previous medical file to your new doctor. A medical negligence lawyer is an expert in medical negligence law and will assist you in your case of proving medical negligence.
Right to quality care
It is important to know about the right to quality care. Some fundamentals are marked below:
- Ensure secure and top-quality care and services
- Ensure dignity and respect
- Ensure that my identity, culture and variety are respected and supported
- Ensure a life free from abuse and neglect
- Ensure that I’m informed and empowered about my care and care services in a way that I can understand
- Ensure access to all or any information about me, including information on my rights, care & services
- Ensure control over and make decisions about my care and personal & social life, including decisions that involve personal risk
- Ensure control and skill to form decisions about personal aspects of my day-to-day life, financial matters and possessions
- Ensure my independence
- Be heard and understood
Right to access medical records
To request access to your health information, contact your health service provider.
- Only you or someone you’ve permitted to access your health information (e.g., a trustee or authorised representative) can make such an invitation.
- You may have to provide written notice of your request and include your name and address.
- The health information you would like to access
- How you wish to access it (e.g., via email, paper copy or if you want to look at it)
- If you’ve authorised someone or an organisation to access it on your behalf
Right to compensation
Medical negligence claims can seek compensation for medical expenses, professional carer expenses, the patient’s lost earning potential, pain and suffering, etc. Compensation aims to place the claimant back in their position before the negligent act.
If the claimant is no longer ready to add their previous role, they will generally make a TSP claim under their insurance or superannuation.
If a patient dies due to medical negligence, the immediate family can also claim compensation.
As a patient, you must be conscious of your rights and advocate for yourself. If you need to be adequately cared for, be bold and invite more information. You’ll also need a second opinion or seek legal advice. If you’re facing a medical negligence claim in Australia, the primary step is to seek legal advice.
Medical malpractice lawyers will work with you to ensure you have all the evidence you would like to form a successful claim. They will work with a team of highly skilled professionals knowledgeable about the law of medical negligence. When you meet with your medical negligence lawyer, they will evaluate your case and advise you on how likely it is that you will win your claim.
If they believe that you have an honest case, they will work with doctors to advise you on how to proceed. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever for patients to remember their rights and actively participate in the healthcare that they receive. Understanding your rights and advocating for yourself is important for successful medical negligence claims.