Can a doctor run a pregnancy drug test without informing you?

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Can a doctor run a pregnancy drug test without informing you?

I went to a new OB for a pregnancy confirmation visit at 5 weeks. When giving my urine, I was under the impression that it was for a pregnancy test. At no point in the visit (or ever) was I informed a drug test would be performed. A week later, I got a bill for $800 worth of drug tests that my insurance will not pay for. I called and my doctor’s office says this is “standard procedure”. I dispute this since I never signed a consent. Was this legal?

Asked on January 2, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless it's an emergency situation, a doctor may not run tests or perform procedures without first telling the patient what he or she is going to do and getting consent. The explanation can be in general terms, especially if the patient doesn't seek more information: for example, the doctor or his/her nurse could say, "We will run the standard tests done whenever a woman comes in to confirm pregnancy," and if the patient doesn't then ask, "what standard tests?", that would be typically be good enough.


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