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Informed consent: What every health professional and patient needs to know about.

BY: Deena David | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-09-28

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   Deena David
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There are many new developments in the health care industry all the time. People try to develop their skills and knowledge about various diseases and their complications. There are also many people friendly initiatives tat need to be learnt by health care professionals because they deal with hundreds of people everyday. There are also many legal issues that can crop up when there are people issues in health care. One such issue is the informed consent that is very essential to avoid legal problems in health care.

What is informed consent?

Consent is a consensus between the physician and the patient.
The physician may need to perform many emergency procedures during the course of the treatment o save the life or to save a part of the body of the patient. Under emergency circumstances, making the patient to understand the procedure and the risks may not be possible. So informed consent can help is the permission given by the patient to the Physicians to perform the necessary procedures and tests as part of the treatment.

Method of giving informed consent:
The patient usually completes a form that has all the relevant details of the treatment procedure and also the tests that need to be performed. The patient reads the form and affixes the signature to allow the physician to perform the tests and procedures.

When is informed consent necessary?
There can be many instances where informed consent is necessary. It is needed before the physician performs any invasive procedure. It is also necessary if a patient is part of a research study. It is also needed for various treatment procedures and tests to be performed.

Components of an informed consent:

1. Details of the treatment / surgery or diagnostic procedure that is to be performed on the patient.
This is very essential to make the patient to understand the risks involved in the procedure.

2. Further management: The patient should also give consent to any other treatment or diagnostic procedure that needs to be done in case there is no effective result in the original procedure. These tests may not be explained in detail as these may usually be an emergency decision that needs to be taken.

3. Cost: The informed consent should also contain a column for the approximate costs that may be involved as part of the treatment or diagnostic test. This will help the patient to be prepared before the start of treatment.

4. Risk of failure: The risk of failure should be explained to the patient. In health care, even the simplest of procedures can end tragically and can be fatal. This should be explained to the patient.

5. Witnesses: As part of the informed consent procedure, there should be two witnesses who understand the whole process. They should be able to give witness to what happened in case of any legal problems.

6. Signature: The signature of the patient is very important and the informed consent document .is not valid without the signature of the patient. If the patient is less than 18 years of age or is in a state of unconsciousness, then the parent / guardian or relative can affix their signature to make the document valid.

This informed consent is valid in all courts of law in case of legal problems that may arise.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: I have completed my Masters Degree in Paediatric Nursing. I am a writer with a passion for writing. I have been writing for some blogs and other sites. Comments are welcome at the following e mail address: deenaanddavid@gmail.com

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