Informed Consent:
What Are You Really Consenting To?

You want to make sure your understanding of Informed Consent is as current as possible.  Knowing that your time is limited, you decide to research only one topic at a time.  Definitions seem like a good place to start.
 

Black's Law Definition of 
Informed Consent
 
 
 

Black's Law Dictionary, 
6th edition, 1990, 
West Pub., St. Paul, MN
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A person's agreement to allow something to happen (such as surgery) that is based on a full disclosure of facts needed to make the decision intelligently; i.e., knowledge of risks involved, alternatives, etc. 

Informed consent is the name given to a general principle of law that a physician has a duty to disclose what a reasonably prudent physician in the medical community in the exercise of reasonable care would disclose to his patient as to whatever grave risks of injury might be incurred from a proposed course of treatment, so that a patient, exercising ordinary care for his own welfare, and faced with a choice of undergoing the proposed treatment, or alternative treatment, or none at all, may intelligently exercise his judgment by reasonably balancing the probable risks against the probable benefits.

AMA Definition of
Informed Consent
 

American Medical Association
Encyclopedia of Medicine, 1994, Harcourt and Brace, New York

Before a medical diagnostic procedure (or surgical operation) a careful explanation is provided and the patient is asked to state that he or she understands the procedure and the risks involved, and that he or she consents to it. In most hospitals, the patient signs a consent form before an operation.
AMA Definition of
Withholding Consent
 
 
 

American Medical Association
Encyclopedia of Medicine, 1994, Harcourt and Brace, New York
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Consent cannot be given by children or by people with serious mental disorders. Consent may be given (or withheld) on their behalf by parents or relatives. On several occasions in recent years, however, the courts have intervened and overruled the consent of relatives to withhold treatment from newborn children with severe handicaps and from adults with permanent brain damage.

This action by the courts is based on the doctrine that the law forbids euthanasia or assisted suicide, whether or not the patient consents or consent is given on his or her behalf. Consent may not be given on behalf of children or the mentally ill for research procedures that would be of no benefit to them as individuals.

AMA Definition of Consent
 
 
 

American Medical Association
Encyclopedia of Medicine, 1994, Harcourt and Brace, New York

The legal term describing a patient's agreement with a physician performing an operation, arranging drug treatment, or carrying out diagnostic tests. Consent is valid only if the patient has been fully informed about the purpose of the procedure, the likely outcome, and both common and rare complications and side effects that may arise.

Go back to the Administrative Team Meeting

 

Informed Consent Case Study
Dr. Nada Dabbagh
1999-2001