All Those Medical Forms and the Law

May 31, 2019 | Allen A. Ritchie


Why do you have to sign so many medical forms – even for a minor procedure? Do they really mean anything since no one seems to read them?

The answer is … yes, they mean something. But they mean more to the doctor than to you.  The reason? The forms are to protect the doctor, staff and medical facility … not so much you.

Here is the legal basis for all the paper. You have a right to know, and agree to, any medical procedure that is done to you. There are also laws that protect children, the infirmed and mentally challenged among us.

In Alabama, medical providers must get your consent before a procedure is undertaken. There are exceptions for emergencies. They must explain what is going to happen, what could happen and what the consequences could be. Plus, this must be in plain language that a normal person can understand.

This shocks some patients: though the law gives you rights about your medical care, it does not guarantee you a good result. The law acknowledges that mistakes happen, some surgeries are not successful, and people even die while undergoing relatively minor operations. If that happens, those pieces of paper show you knew and accepted the risks.

So, the law says you get to decide what is done to you. Makes sense — since you must live with the results.

If you are injured – from a medical procedure, traffic accident, slip & fall or any action by someone else — you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer