Informed consent

Informed consent is when a healthcare provider educates a patient about a procedure’s risks, benefits, and alternatives. The patient needs to understand that to which he or she has consented.

The consent is only effective if the patient understands it. Informed consent is the physician’s responsibility to discuss a proposed medical procedure with the patient. Oral consent is as binding as written consent, but the latter provides evidence of the patient’s wishes. Written consent should consist of essential elements to be considered legal. They are

  1. the nature of the patient’s illness or injury,
  2. the name of the proposed procedure or treatment,
  3. the purpose of the proposed treatment,
  4. the risks and the probable consequences of the proposed treatment,
  5. the probability that the proposed treatment will be successful,
  6. any alternative methods of treatment along with their associated risks and benefits,
  7. the risks and the prognosis if no treatment is rendered,
  8. an indication that the patient understands elements 1-7,
  9. the signature of the patient, and
  10. the date the consent is signed.

Physicians must disclose the informed consent to their patients with all the elements involved, or they may be charged with a civil offense like gross negligence. All the elements of the informed consent need to be clear for the patient before undergoing the proposed procedure. If one of the elements is not adhered to, some patients might question the procedure they succumbed to and wonder about the success rate and alternatives. If the risks and probable consequences of the treatment were not discussed and the patient, unfortunately, suffered from it, there might be a case against the physician for not disclosing. Suppose the patient agreed to a specific procedure and discovered an alternative procedure that the physician did not include in the informed consent. In that case, the patient may question his or her right to be free of unwanted medical treatment.

For example, a patient needed to remove a lump on her breast. The physician suggested performing a mastectomy and did not discuss any other alternatives like lumpectomy; the patient might question why he/she succumbed to a drastic procedure if there was an alternative.

Post #2 – Indeerpret

Informed consent is an essential aspect of medical practice that requires a healthcare provider to obtain a patient’s voluntary agreement to a proposed medical intervention or treatment after providing adequate information about the procedure’s benefits, risks, and alternatives. The elements of informed consent include disclosure of information, understanding, voluntariness, and competence (Beauchamp & Childress, 2019).

Disclosure of information entails providing the patient with relevant information about the medical intervention or treatment, including its purpose, risks, benefits, and potential alternatives. Understanding requires the patient to comprehend and process the information the healthcare provider provides. Voluntariness implies that the patient freely consents to medical intervention without coercion or duress. Competence means the patient can make sound decisions based on the information provided.

Failure to adhere to the elements of informed consent can have severe consequences for patients. For instance, if a healthcare provider fails to provide adequate information or obtain the patient’s voluntary agreement, the patient may experience adverse effects or complications due to the medical intervention. In a clinical example, a patient may undergo surgery without adequately disclosing the potential risks and benefits, leading to postoperative complications that the patient did not expect (Jones et al., 2020).

In conclusion, adherence to informed consent is crucial in ensuring that patients make informed decisions about their medical care. Healthcare providers must provide adequate information, ensure patient understanding, obtain voluntary agreement, and assess patient competence to avoid adverse outcomes.

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