Kansas Physicians and Informed Consent

As a Kansas physician, you already know just how important it is to obtain your patients’ informed consent prior to treating those patients, whether in the clinical setting or in the operating room.  Hospitals and providers generally have a broad informed consent page that patients will sign.  While this certainly is helpful in documenting a patient’s permission to undergo a certain treatment or procedure, these boilerplate forms are not always sufficient to avoid potential litigation or disciplinary matters in the future.

For example, if a patient consented to have a procedure done by signing a boilerplate consent form that indicated the name of the procedure, but no further details were outlined on the form, that patient may complain down the line that he or she was not aware of the potential complications or side-effects of undergoing that particular procedure.  For this reason, it is imperative that Kansas physicians make further attempts to document a patient’s informed consent.  This can be documented by doing the following:

  • Ensure that your clinic and appointment notes leading up to a procedure document a patient’s informed consent, after you clearly explain the pros, cons, and potential complications or side-effects of the procedure;
  • Document your patient’s informed consent not only with a boilerplate consent form, but also in any operative report after you have again, explained the pros, cons, and potential complications and side-effects of the procedure; and
  • Make sure a nurse or assistant is present prior to the procedure to witness the patient’s informed consent

Issues with informed consent were not that prevalent until the past couple of decades.  A general consent to particular treatment or to a procedure used to be sufficient to prevent a complaint being filed in the future by an unhappy patient (whether the complaint be in the form of a lawsuit, or against the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, or perhaps both).

Because lawsuits are filed on a regular basis in Kansas for a patient claiming his or her injuries are related to a lack of informed consent, and because disciplinary complaints are also filed quite frequently with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, it is essential to take extra steps to protect yourself as a Kansas physician.  Many claims filed by patients could be perfectly legitimate, but many are not.  By documenting your efforts to obtain informed consent, and confirmation that the patient did in fact give informed consent, as described above, you are preserving evidence that you acted in accordance with the law and professional standards of this state.

If an upset patient does file a complaint with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and/or in the form of a lawsuit, you will have all of the documentation you need to dispute the patient’s allegations. In order to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself, you should consider speaking with a Kansas professional license defense attorney who can help you prepare for what the Kansas Board of Healing Arts may ask of you should you face disciplinary proceedings in the future.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Facing the Kansas Board of Healing Arts can be stressful and frightening.  If you are a Kansas physician and are facing potential disciplinary action, you should speak with a Kansas professional licensing defense attorney as soon as possible.  Kansas Professional Liability Defense Attorney Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office dedicates her law practice to helping professionals overcome the hurdles that disciplinary proceedings often present.  Danielle Sanger’s prior experience as Assistant Attorney General of Kansas allows her to provide her clients with outstanding service, as she knows what to expect from all professional licensing boards.  To speak with Danielle Sanger regarding your professional licensing matter, contact the Sanger Law Office today to schedule a free consultation by calling (785) 979-4353.