The medical industry is incredibly complicated, and justifiably so. The vast number of conditions that doctor and nursing staffs must be able to diagnose and treat is nearly inconceivable to lay-people. While their expertise saves lives, patients also have the right to help craft their treatment plans. Here are a few legally protected aspects of their rights while under a physician’s care.
Explanation of Treatment Options and Risks
When seeking medical treatment, patients don’t want to subject themselves to more procedures than necessary. They also don’t want to seek out a medical malpractice lawyer new orleans la unless they must. To that end, it is in both the physician’s ad patient’s best interest to thoroughly explain the treatments they recommend and the associated benefits and risks. They must also answer any related questions to the best of their abilities.
Under HIPPA and other ethical guidelines, medical professionals must keep a patient’s private information confidential, and not share specific details with their family or friends or any other member of the media or general public. In short, a patient’s conditions, treatment plan, medications, progress, or regression is between them and their doctor.
Physicians are highly trained and skilled, but not infallible. They are required to respect a patient’s desire to be examined by another doctor and compare findings. Upstanding medical professionals who are committed to finding accurate diagnoses even encourage this.
Respect for Decisions
Along similar lines, doctors cannot override patients’ decisions about their treatment. For example, if a patient opts to not receive chemotherapy to treat cancer, a physician cannot force them to take it. Most cases are less extreme, but regardless of the outcome, a patient makes the ultimate call, even if it ignores strong medical recommendations.
Deciding and committing to a treatment plan is a unique and personal process. Patients have broad rights in this area, and physicians must respect them.