Many practitioners are beginning to institute consent forms for voluntary, non-emergency treatments in an effort to limit the liability of their practices. The forms may state language similar to the following:
- Coronavirus is highly contagious and there are known risks of contracting the virus, including hospitalization and death;
- the patient confirms that they do not exhibit any symptoms, especially fever;
- the patient has read over the office protocols and guidelines;
- the patient agrees and acknowledges that they are coming in for a non-emergency, voluntary form of treatment; and
- knowing the potential risk involved, the patient still agrees to come into the office for the treatment , and they release the office from any liability with respect to the virus.
The purpose of the consent form is not to scare the patient, but to confirm that they came in voluntarily, that they know the risks associated with Covid-19, and that they understand that, while the office is following CDC and federal/state governmental guidelines, there is no guarantee of zero transmissibility.
Asking the patient questions about any potential exposure will be part of new guidelines for most practices. These questions may include:
- Were they in contact with anyone who tested positive for the virus?
- Did they travel to any states with a high concentration of the virus?
- Have they exhibited any symptoms commonly related to Covid-19?
Asking these questions along with having the patients sign a consent form will provide a level of protection, for both the patient and the office staff. This is a small step practitioners can take which will provide everyone with a sense of safety and protection of their overall health and well-being during this crisis.
Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.
Rodin Legal, P.C.
Tel: (917) 345-8972
Fax: (917) 591-4428