If my doctor didn’t inform me of all the side effects of a shot before administering it to me, would this be considered malpractice?

Basically I received the depo prevera birth control shot and the doctor didn’t inform me of the side effects I’m now having, severe joint pain, stomach pain, and crazy emotional changes.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may well be malpractice. Malpractrice is literally "bad practice," or practice which is negligent, careless, or violates accepted standards of medical care. It is accepted or proper standands of care to disclose side effects, so that a patient can make and render informed consent as to the procedure; without knowledge of the potential problems, the patient cannot give informed consent. Therefore, not providing the necesssary information can be malpracitice.

That said, it may be the case that suficiently rare of unlikely side effects do not need to be disclosed; a doctor does not need to disclose everything that could *possibly* occur. But not disclosing side effects that have any real likelihood or risk may be malpractice.

Of couse, even if it is malpractice, since what you can recover is limited to the damages (e.g. medical costs, lost wages, and long lasting significant pain, disability, etc.), you also need to consider whether it is economically worth takin legal action. If you consult with a malpratice attorney, he or she can help you evaluate the strength and worth of your case.


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