Yes, depending on the circumstances, you can. Though signing a consent form allows doctors to legally perform the duties listed, the form itself may fail to provide what is known as informed consent. Informed consent means that a patient understands the procedure he or she is about to undergo, is made aware of any alternative procedures, and is told of any substantial risks. If a patient lacks informed consent and is harmed during a procedure, then he or she may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Such a lawsuit may also be filed if a patient is forced to sign a consent form after the injurious incident has already occurred or if he or she was incompetent when the form was signed.

However, it is important to note that there may be instances where failing to provide informed consent does not necessarily give rise to legal liability. For example, if it can be shown that a patient would have undergone a surgical operation even if he or she had been informed of all the risks and alternatives, then liability may not be imposed on a doctor who, while providing the minimum standard of care, injures the patient.

Since a lot of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent cases rely on defining acceptable medical standards, if is often advisable to utilize expert testimony. An expert can help a jury understand whether the consent that was given was fully informed and whether a doctor acted within the minimum standard of care owed to the patient.

Hospital negligence cases are usually complex, with many legal issues coming into play. Informed consent issues can be highly contentious, as a doctor may feel that he or she acted appropriately while a victim feels otherwise. Every case is different, and speaking with a Miami attorney may be the best way to determine what actions to take next.

Source: FindLaw, “Gross Negligence and Lack of Informed Consent,” accessed on July 27, 2014