Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A. Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A.

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Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A.
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Doctors are hesitant to tell patients about all side effects

When a doctor prescribes a medication for you, he or she is supposed to tell the whole truth -- including what side effects you could face. This is known as informed consent, and it basically means that a patient must really know what he or she is consenting to before doing it.

However, some doctors are nervous to tell patients about all of the potential side effects that they could face. Studies have shown side effects become more likely when patients are told about everything that could happen. In the medical community, they call this the Nocebo Effect.

For example, a medication may cause a patient to have severe headaches. The doctor warns the patient of this potential outcome. The patient begins taking the medication and, sure enough, has severe headaches. Were they a natural outcome of the medication or was the power of suggestion to blame? Was the person so worried about these headaches that they actually happened? Research has shown that this phenomenon is very real.

The trouble, though, is that doctors may be tempted to "protect" their patients by withholding information. This could breach the principle of implied consent. Even if the doctor's intentions are good, patients have a right to know what could happen before they take a medication -- especially when there are serious and potentially fatal side effects.

If you were given a new medication and you were not informed about the possible outcomes and side effects, due to negligence or the fear of the Nocebo Effect, you should know that this may constitute medical malpractice. Doctors are obligated to give you proper information before you take anything. Be sure you know your rights.

Source: NCBI, "To Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, May Do Patients Harm: The Problem of the Nocebo Effect for Informed Consent," Rebecca Erwin Wells, accessed Jan. 24, 2017

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Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A.

Florida Personal Injury Lawyers

Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A. 201 N. Palafox Street 2nd Floor Pensacola, FL 32502 Toll Free: 888-414-1326 Phone: 850-696-0314 Fax: 850-438-0575 Pensacola Law Office

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