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?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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