Why consent forms are not a dental malpractice shield

Blog submitted by Dane Levy, Attorney of Dentalmal.com, a provider of legal services for those injured by dental malpractice in California

Seeking a patient’s informed consent is customary for medical procedures with a certain amount of risk, and providing documentation for informed consent is seen as one of the ways doctors and dentists can protect themselves in malpractice cases. However, there are times when medical and dental professionals should be held responsible for negligent treatment, even if a patient has signed a consent form.

The truth is that “informed consent” means so much more than just signing your name on a consent form. Informed consent means a patient has been adequately informed of all the risks, options, and important details related to their treatment. Even if a patient has signed a consent form, it does not mean they have been provided with all the information necessary to make an educated decision. If a consent form is not clear about the risks or leaves out crucial details, a dentist may not have a patient’s informed consent, even if they have signed it.

Furthermore, signed consent forms do not give dentists the freedom to violate the dental community’s standard of care. If a dentist still injures a patient by deviating from the standard of care, they are still liable to be held responsible. If this happens, a patient can win a case by showing that their injuries were a result of their dentist’s irresponsible conduct and not the risks associated with their dental procedure.

If you are a victim of dental malpractice, regardless of whether or not you signed a form, California dental malpractice lawyer Dane Levy can help you assess your case to see if you can win in court and get the compensation you deserve.