(888) 222-9999
Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Office

What Is the Difference Between Express and Implied Consent?

Contact Us

Personal injury cases often revolve around the issue of consent. Medical malpractice cases, in particular, often involve important issues of patient consent. 

Two forms of consent are relevant here: express and implied. Informed consent is a prerequisite to either express or implied consent.

It’s not enough for a healthcare provider to secure mere consent from you; you’ve got to understand exactly what it is that you’re doing. That is what informed consent is all about.

The term “informed consent” can refer to either express or implied consent. You grant informed consent when you agree to a treatment or course of treatment, either verbally or in writing, after a medical professional has informed you of the risks and alternatives. 

A doctor’s failure to secure informed consent can constitute a form of medical malpractice in Nevada. In litigation, an expert witness might be able to determine whether a patient was properly informed of the risks and options involving a treatment, for example. 

In case you were wondering, a parent or guardian is the party who must give informed consent when it comes to the treatment of children or the mentally impaired. 

Express consent applies when you specifically grant your consent, either verbally or in writing. “I hereby consent to…” is an example. Express consent can come in many forms.

Below are a few examples of verbal and written express consent that doctors commonly rely on:

  • Acknowledging your receipt and understanding of pre-operative instructions,
  • Agreeing to undergo elective treatments,
  • Agreeing to chemotherapy treatment,
  • Authorizing the release of your medical records,
  • Consenting to a blood transfusion,
  • Consenting to participate in a clinical trial,
  • Consenting to a specific surgical treatment,
  • Consenting to diagnostic tests.
  • Verbal consent to minor treatments,
  • Verbal consent to physical therapy,

Doctors and hospitals prefer written consent in most cases becasue they are effective evidence.

Doctors and hospitals typically use prefabricated written consent forms. The following are typical contents of an effective informed consent form:

  • ID information about the patient (name, address, contact details, and more),
  • Information about the treatment,
  • The name and qualifications of the healthcare provider performing the treatment,
  • The purpose of the treatment,
  • An explanation of why the treatment is necessary,
  • Risks and possible complications,
  • Benefits,
  • Alternatives,
  • Consent to proceed,
  • Ongoing right to withdraw consent,
  • Privacy and confidentiality,
  • Questions and clarifications (for the patient to fill in),
  • Signature of the patient or legal guardian,
  • Signature of the witnessing healthcare provider or staff,
  • Date of the signatures, and
  • Consent to any additional emergency treatment that may be necessary during the treatment (an emergency procedure during surgery, for example)

A consent form may include fewer items than the ones listed above.

Implied consent occurs when a patient consents nonverbally or a healthcare provider presumes consent due to the circumstances. 

Below are only a few of a virtually unlimited number of actions or circumstances that can generate implied consent: 

  • Attending a pre-surgical consultation,
  • Bringing a child to a pediatrician for scheduled vaccinations (vicarious parental consent)
  • Emergencies, if you are unconscious but require immediate medical attention,
  • Returning to your healthcare provider for a follow-up appointment,
  • Nodding or gesturing in response to a doctor’s proposal to perform a simple treatment such as taking blood,
  • Participating in a telemedicine appointment and discussing your symptoms,
  • Removing your clothing or positioning yourself as instructed by a healthcare provider, or
  • Putting on a hospital gown and following directions for a procedure

Consent is usually implied only for certain specific treatments. In other words, the scope of consent is not unlimited. 

An Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

Medical malpractice claims are typically complex and difficult to prove. They are not impossibly difficult to prove, however; after all, personal injury lawyers prove their clients’ claims every day. 

Nevertheless, a medical malpractice claim is nothing you want to handle on your own. Set up a free consultation with an attorney to learn about your legal options.

Contact Our Las Vegas Medical Malpractice Lawyers at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in Las Vegas, NV, and need legal help contact our Las Vegas medical malpractice attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation today.

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers – Las Vegas Office
1149 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV. 89104
(702) 222-9999
Open 24 hours

De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersSummerlin Office
410 S Rampart Blvd, Ste 480 Las Vegas, NV. 89145
(702) 297-6373
Open 24 hours

De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersHenderson Office
9555 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV. 89123
(702) 997-4264
Open 24 hours

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury lawyers serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

Call Now Button