Most medical treatment comes with some degree of risk. You could develop an infection after surgery or have an adverse reaction to a medication. For you to make intelligent decisions about the care you receive, you need to understand the treatment or drugs your physician recommends.
Understanding, at a minimum, the potential benefits, the success rate for the treatment and the most common side effects is necessary when confronted with the need for medical treatment. Unfortunately for patients, doctors don’t always adequately inform them about the risks involved if they undergo a specific procedure or take a particular drug.
When your doctor doesn’t educate you about the risks you face, you might want to hold them accountable for the negative outcome you experienced that you didn’t even know was a possibility.
Handing someone a pamphlet isn’t enough
Doctors have a lot of pressure on their time. Whether they work in a family practice office or an urgent care facility, they need to see a certain number of patients every day and may sometimes have an unusually high caseload. In addition to seeing the patients, they also need to maintain medical records, which can also be quite time-consuming.
Doctors often don’t have much time to spend with individual patients and may therefore gloss over things that they should take the time to explain. Sometimes a doctor doesn’t bother to discuss possible issues with the patient. They might just hand them a pamphlet or expect them to read through the documentation provided by the pharmacist.
Especially in scenarios where there is a history of adverse reactions or negative side effects, a doctor should ensure that patients know as much about the possible risks as they do about the potential benefits.
You rely on your doctor’s information to make your decisions
When a physician doesn’t give you accurate or thorough information about a recommended course of treatment, their actions contribute to the negative outcome that you experience. Patients who know that a procedure only has a 45% success rate or comes with a lifetime of medication might make a different decision than someone only informed about the benefits and not the consequences, side effects and aftercare.