No matter the type of medical care, a patient always has the right to receive information and ask questions before undergoing treatment. Communication with a medical professional allows the patient to make decisions about their own health care. It educates the patient about risks, benefits, and alternative treatment options. It gives the patient the chance to voice concerns and gain a fuller understanding of medical terms and concepts they may not be familiar with. Informed consent is a fundamental component of any successful patient-physician relationship.
A health care provider has a legal and ethical obligation to facilitate this exchange of information prior to testing or treatment. If you visited a health care provider and there was no process of informed consent prior to your procedure, you may have faced an instance of medical malpractice.