What is the Difference between Express and Implied Consent?

Consent refers to a person freely giving permission for someone to do something or have something done to them. The difference between consent and informed consent is that in the latter, you have all the information about a procedure or treatment before agreeing to have it done to you. Doctors are required, both legally and ethically, to give patients the right information so they can make informed decisions for their health care. If there is no informed consent, then you can sue the doctor for malpractice.

What is Expressed Consent?

Expressed permission or consent refers to a clear and direct statement of agreement to a treatment procedure. It is commonly provided in writing but verbal express consent might be acceptable in emergency situations.
A patient cannot give permission until they have complete information about the treatment or medical procedure they will undergo. A doctor is required to give information that will help the patient decide whether or not they will continue with the prescribed method of treatment or not.

Some of the information a doctor is obligated to provide is:

  • A description of the condition or illness.
  • A description of the proposed treatment method.
  • An explanation of how the treatment or procedure will be administered.
  • An overview of why the doctor thinks this is the best treatment method.
  • Information on the results expected from having the treatment as well as possible effects from not having it.
  • Alternative methods of treatment.

Once the patient is aware of all this, they can sign a form that indicates the patient is fully informed and decides to proceed.

Expressed Consent vs. Implied Consent

What is express permission or consent happens either verbally or in writing. Implied consent, on the other hand, is indicated by the patient’s actions. For example, if you walk into the emergency room before passing out, you are giving implied consent to be treated until you wake up. Treatment of a minor who cannot legally consent is another situation where implied consent applies. Implied consent is not easy to prove in court because doctors are obligated to perform the necessary life-saving medical procedures.

Personal Injury Attorneys Tampa, Florida

Experienced attorneys will evaluate each case to determine how consent applies. If you are wondering, “When do I need a personal injury lawyer?”, then it is important to reach out and see if a case of uninformed consent can be made in your specific example. Personal injury attorneys in Tampa, Florida will provide you with sound legal advice regarding consent. A lawyer is also necessary if you start experiencing unexpected complications resulting from treatment that you agreed to without fully knowing about the expected results and side effects. Reach out to a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney to get more information about informed consent before and after a medical procedure so you are aware of your medical and legal rights.

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