Before a doctor performs any medical procedure, it is a legal requirement that they obtain a patients fully informed consent.
In order to this, a doctor is required to advise the patient of significant or frequently occurring risks. The court does not expect a doctor to recite an exhaustive list of the risks of any given procedure.
Often, a patient is given a leaflet to read about the proposed procedure and the risks associated with it.
This consent is usually obtained by way of a signed ‘consent form’ which is likely to authorise “such further or alternative operative measures as may be found to be necessary during the course of the operation.” However, this only covers treatment linked to that already consented for.
Any treatment of a different nature would need to be justified by the physician’s right to act in an emergency to protect a patients health.
In order to make any claim, a patient would need to persuade the court that that additional treatment was not related to the original procedure and not necessary to protect their health.
Claims can be brought for procedures are performed under a local anaesthetic, however, it can be considered reasonable to ask for verbal consent for any related surgery during the procedure for which consent has already been given.
If you feel that your procedure was carried out without your informed consent
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