Personal Injury and Civil Trial
Failure to Diagnose the Risks of Botox
On April 15, 2002, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox injections for cosmetic use. Botox is produced by the same bacterium as botulism, a food poison, serving to temporarily paralyze the area of the face in which it has been injected to clear up facial wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Even though there are many risks and side effects associated with the cosmetic usage of Botox, the official FDA approval of Botox injections for cosmetic use can give consumers a false sense of security in the safety of Botox.
Despite FDA approval, if a physician fails to disclose the known risks of Botox to a patient prior to usage, the patient might have a cause of action for lack of informed consent in a malpractice action against the physician.
The Dangers and Side Effects of Botox
- The toxin could migrate to different muscles and cause conditions such as drooping of the eyelid
- Severe migraines
- Respiratory problems
- Difficulty swallowing when a high dosage is used in neck muscles
- Rare reports of adverse cardiovascular effects, such as arrhythmia and myocardial infarctions, which can be fatal
Additionally, the use of some antibiotics may increase the possibility or severity of the aforementioned side effects.
Lack of Informed Consent
If a doctor followed standard procedures and a patient suffered injury or a negative side effect that the doctor pre-warned the patient about, then the doctor has not committed malpractice. However, if a doctor failed to warn a patient about possible negative side effects, and the patient consented to treatment without being fully informed as to the risks, the doctor could be liable for “lack of informed consent” or “lack of adequate disclosure of risk” under medical malpractice law. The injured patient must prove four elements to show lack of informed consent in a medical malpractice suit:
- The doctor had a duty to disclose the risks
- The doctor failed to disclose or inadequately disclosed the risks
- The patient would not have consented to treatment if the doctor had not failed to disclose
- The plaintiff was injured by the treatment
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