In Alabama hospitals, patient consent must come first

Medical procedures may be invasive, but medical providers never should be. There is a vital difference between getting the medical care you want and need versus the medical care your doctor believes you should have. The doctor doesn’t always know best.

In fact, medical providers and institutions must obey informed consent laws to protect your rights as a patient. This means that you need to know exactly what’s happening with your body as well as your treatment choices to make the best decisions for your health.

Unwanted mutilation in surgery

If a hospital or clinic fails to respect its patients’ wishes, the patient may have to live with devastating consequences. USA Today tells the story of a woman whose vaginal mesh surgery ended in tragedy. During her operation, the surgeon decided to remove her ovaries without asking for her permission first.

There was no reported urgent medical reason for this removal. According to the surgeon, her organs were simply “in the way” and she had no apparent use for them at her age. However, it was not the surgeon’s place to assume her wishes nor to make this personal decision on her behalf.

What can patients do?

This type of medical malpractice can take many different forms, but doctors and other staff must always adhere to these essential laws. There are a few ways that you can legally protect your wishes in an emergency, including creating an advance healthcare directive, but the burden falls upon the provider to follow informed consent laws every time you seek care.

Hospitals and providers may overstep their bounds during an exam or procedure. Consent is a growing concern in the healthcare industry, especially following the case of former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar and similar atrocities. Patients have the right to make independent educated decisions about their care as well as to take legal action against providers who violate the law.

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