Treatment is not subject to the duty to inform. In the following, you will find out in what context doctors should inform their patients.
A patient must allow medical steps – otherwise they constitute bodily injury from a legal perspective. The person providing treatment would violate the physical integrity of the patient and be held liable under civil and criminal law. In order to consent to a medical act, knowledge of the intervention is required in order to be able to assess its scope. Above all, opportunities and risks, but also effort and costs are important aspects. The dimension of education is in proportion to the importance of a medical measure. The range extends from emergency operations to cosmetic surgery. For cosmetic surgery, a particularly detailed explanation is necessary. In the case of an accident patient who is not responsive, the treating physician can dispense with an explanation.
The aim of medical education is to consolidate the patient’s position in relation to the doctor. Although the doctor cannot pass on in-depth specialist knowledge, he can convey a picture in comprehensible language that enables the patient to recognise opportunities and risks as well as alternatives. One speaks of informed consent.
Formally, a declaration of consent with the patient’s signature is legally binding. Further evidence for the treating person such as witness statements or medical documentation is also possible.
Adequate information forms the basis for a patient’s safe decision.
Another factor is time. The patient should be given enough time to think about his decision. Emergencies are exceptions. Persons who cannot be informed because they would not understand it should be treated separately: relatives should be consulted in the case of unconscious patients. A living will can also provide information about the patient’s possible wishes. Representatives and carers can be consulted for consent. Parents should be informed about any surgery on children. Interpreters can help with language barriers.
In order to claim compensation, the patient must prove the error of explanation and the resulting damage to health. In addition, the injured party should quantify claims for compensation. It is important to keep the claim in moderation, otherwise the suspicion of attempted enrichment arises and the patient loses the entire claim. Apart from taking legal action in court, the parties involved can reach an out-of-court settlement.