Texas has stringent informed consent laws to which doctors must adhere. A violation of informed consent laws can lead to serious consequences for your license to practice medicine and potentially civil action.
Any allegation of misconduct filed with the Texas Medical Board (TMB) could put your medical license in jeopardy. Allegations of violating an informed consent law are particularly egregious. If a complaint has been filed against you with the TMB based on failure to obtain informed consent, it is critical that you hire a medical license defense attorney and mount a strong defense from the start.
Our firm encourages all Texas licensed physicians to have a thorough understanding of Texas informed consent laws. Not all TMB complaints can be avoided, but understanding your legal duties is the first step in protecting your license.
Texas Informed Consent Laws
Under Texas informed consent law, certain procedures require full disclosure of specific risks and hazards while other procedures require no disclosures. 25 Tex Admin. Code § 601. The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (the "Panel") reviews medical procedures to determine which require informed consent and which do not. The Panel was established in 1977 to provide physicians and other health care providers with guidelines for informed consent.
The Panel defines informed consent as: "the permission given by a patient to perform a medical treatment or surgical procedure after the patient has been advised of the risks or hazards that could influence a reasonable person in deciding whether or not to give permission. In order for the patient to make an informed decision about whether to give his or her permission, the patient needs information about the treatment or procedure and the risks associated with it. Informed consent deals with the information provided to the patient and how it is provided when obtaining the patient’s permission to perform the treatment or procedure."
Essentially informed consent is a discussion between a patient and a doctor about the risks and benefits of a given treatment or procedure, and the patient deciding whether or not to consent to the treatment.
Procedures Requiring Full Disclosure of Specific Risks and Hazards
The Panel determined procedures in the following areas require full disclosure and listed specific risks and hazards that must be shared with patients: anesthesia, procedures and treatments involving the cardiovascular system, digestive system, ears, eyes, endocrine system, hematic and lymphatic system, genital systems, musculoskeletal system, and the nervous system.
The foregoing list is not exhaustive. The full list of procedures requiring full disclosure of specific risks and hazards can be found here. 25 Tex Admin. Code § 601.2.
When You Need An Experienced Medical License Defense Attorney
Strictly adhering to informed consent laws and taking precautionary measures may mean you are less likely to face a complaint and ensuing investigation from the TMB. However, no matter how careful or meticulous you are, someone may still file a complaint against you.
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Medical Board, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced medical license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TMB's complaint process.
Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced medical license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.