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Joy Hicks

Term of the Week: Informed Consent

By May 25, 2011

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The most important right that a patient has is the right of informed consent. A patient should only consent to medical treatment if they have sufficient information about their diagnosis and all treatment options available in terms he/she can understand.

Before a physician can begin any course of treatment, the physician must make the patient aware of what he plans to do. For any course of treatment that is above routine medical procedures, the physician must disclose as much information as possible so the patient may make an informed decision about his/her care. This information should include:

  • Diagnosis and chances of recovery
  • Recommended course of treatment
  • Risks and benefits involved in treatment
  • Risks if no treatment is taken
  • Probability of success if treatment is taken
  • Recovery challenges and length of time

Although, it is wise to get written consent as evidence that consent was obtained before any medical treatment is performed, consent can be verbal, written or inferred....Read more

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