The good news is that in the last couple of years the legal position has changed dramatically in favour of the patient. As a result of the Montgomery case, the law now says that before any medical procedure takes place, two very important things must happen. They are:
- Doctors must make sure that the patient is fully aware of the risk of complications such as CRPS. Putting it on a checklist without discussing it properly is no longer good enough.
- Doctors must consider and discuss with the patient the fact that other types of treatment might be available. A lot of them carry no long term risks and should be tried first. These are usually things that don’t involve an operation. Sometimes physio’; orthotics; injections; different types of painkillers; alternative remedies; etc are well worth a try. An operation should be a last resort, not a first resort.
The legal position is now very clear. It is the patient who should make the decisions about treatment, and not the doctors. This can only happen if and when the doctor has had a full and meaningful discussion with the patient about all of the possible types of treatment to try, and has properly explained the risks and benefits of each one.
If you have been diagnosed with CRPS after medical treatment please get in touch for further advice. It is confidential and free.
We are here to help if we can.