Unnecessary surgery compensation enables you to recover compensation for undergoing a non-emergency medical procedure that was not needed and for which you did not give your “informed consent”. Establishing your eligibility to claim unnecessary surgery compensation is complicated, and can depend on the opinion of both medical and legal experts.
This is because – historically – patients put their faith in their doctors to suggest an appropriate course of action depending on the doctor´s diagnosis. However, the Internet has increase the availability of medical knowledge to patients and – according to a recent Supreme Court verdict – social and legal developments “point away from the relationship between the doctor and patient based on medical paternalism”.
Why Informed Consent is So Important
The Supreme Court case in question was Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, in which Nadine Montgomery claimed she would have chosen to have her son delivered by Caesarean Section had she been advised of the risks of a natural birth. Nadine suffers from Type 1 diabetes, due to which her son – Sam – was a very large baby. Sam suffered from a lack of oxygen during his vaginal delivery and now suffers from cerebral palsy – a condition he would not have if Nadine had been able to give her “informed consent”.
The implications of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board are very good for patients, who should now be given all the relevant information about the procedure they are about to undergo – and any feasible alternatives – so that they can decide on the level of risk they are prepared to accept. However, if a patient has given their “informed consent” prior to undergoing a non-emergency medical procedure that was unnecessary, it is now very difficult to make a claim for unnecessary surgery compensation.
How to Make Claims for Unnecessary Surgery Compensation
If you believe that you underwent unnecessary surgery without giving your informed consent, you should speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity. The solicitor will request your permission to access your medical records so that a medical expert can assess whether the surgery was unnecessary “at the time and in the circumstances”. The solicitor will also want a copy of the consent form you will have signed prior to undergoing the medical procedure.
The solicitor will want to know whether you were given all the relative information about the surgery -including any alternative treatments that were suggested and the risk factors involved – and how the consequences of the unnecessary surgery have affected your quality of life. If it can be shown that the medical procedure was not required, and that you were not fully informed about your options, you will be eligible to claim unnecessary surgery compensation.
Further Information about Informed Consent and Unnecessary Surgery
As you can see from the above, claiming unnecessary surgery compensation is far from straightforward and likely to vary in complexity depending on the nature of the surgery you underwent and the consequences of the surgery. If the surgery was indeed unnecessary, and you were unable to give your “informed consent” because all the information was not provided, you are invited to contact our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau and discuss your experience with a medical negligence solicitor.
Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about claiming unnecessary surgery compensation and what constitutes “informed consent”. Our solicitor will also be able to guide you through the claims process as they apply in your particular circumstance and explain the different elements of compensation that you may be entitled to.
Please note that all calls to our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau are completely confidential and that by using our legal advice service you are under no obligation to make a claim for unnecessary surgery compensation. Our aim is to provide you with the information you need in plain English, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you have an unnecessary surgery compensation claim that may be worth your while to pursue.