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Inmates Sue For Not Being Provided Informed Consent


Inmates who were given an experimental drug to treat them for COVID, are now suing, alleging that they were never informed of, and never gave consent for, receiving the treatment.

Treatment Given Without Permission

The lawsuit alleges that the inmates were given a medicine called Ivermectin, but that the inmates were not told that they were receiving the medicine, nor did they agree to receive it. Because they never consented, they also, they allege, were never made aware of potential side effects or the medicine.

The inmates say that they were told they were simply receiving steroids, antibiotics, or other generic medicines. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents the inmates, says that the correctional center knew it was prescribing the medicine, and had been doing so for inmates for an extended period of time.

The ACLU contends that no person—not even inmates—should be the subject of human medicinal trials, without their knowledge or consent.

The correctional center says that treatment is always voluntary, and that it was quite effective, given that there were no deaths related to COVID, even though over 500 inmates had contracted the illness. However, the FDA has never approved the medicine to treat COVID, and in fact, warns that in certain doses, the medicine can be dangerous.

Informed Consent

Dangerous or not, the lawsuit hinges on the concept of informed consent. You may have noticed that before undergoing any type of medical treatment, you are often asked to sign a lot of paperwork. Some of that paperwork is your consenting to the treatment you are receiving.

That’s not just paperwork—that’s an attempt to comply with informed consent laws, which require that you be informed of, and agree to, the type of treatment you are receiving, and the possible side effects or risks of the treatment. An informed consent form or disclosure also requires that you be told of any alternative treatments, if any are available, so that you may consider them as well.

This is to comply with the legal notion that we all have the right to understand what treatment we are getting.

Not a Waiver

Agreeing to an informed consent document doesn’t mean you are waiving your rights to sue for medical malpractice, and an informed consent is not a release of liability (although be careful—releases are often buried in the paperwork given to you with the informed consent forms).

Informed consent is also, in part, what keeps medical treatment from being a battery—it is your way of agreeing that although a doctor is touching, treating, or doing something to your body, that you agree to it.

If proper and full informed consent is not given, a victim may be able to sue for the failure of the medical provider to disclose the necessary medical information—even if there is no other medical malpractice involved.

Call the Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today for help if you are a victim of malpractice or you are in any kind of accident.



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