Informed Consent


Informed Consent


  • Voluntary and written consent from pt is required prior to nonemergency surgery
  • Written consent protects pt from unsanctioned Sx
  • Protects surgeon from claims of an unauthorized operation
  • Sound medical, ethical and legal principles are followed
  • Physican`s responsibility to provide for a valid informed consent
  • It is the patient`s right to refuse a medical procedure
  • Patient must be fully informed as to their decision
  • In cases of refusal to undergo medical procedure and sign consent form – documentation must follow


Prior to patient signing consent form:

  1. Surgeon must provide pt with clear and simple explanation of what the surgery will entail
  2. Surgeon must inform the pt of resultant:
  • benefits
  • alternatives
  • possible risks
  • complications
  • disfigurement
  • disability
  • removal of body parts
  1. what to expect in the early and late postoperative periods
  • Ascertain that the consent form has been signed prior to administering psychoactive medication
  • consent may not be valid if obtained while the pt was under influence of medications that affect judgement and decision-making capacity


Informed consent is necessary in the following:

  1. Invasive procedures
  • surgical incision
  • biopsy
  • cystoscopy
  • paracentesis


  1. Procedures requiring sedation & or anesthetic
  2. Nonsurgical procedure such as arteriography that carries higher risk to pt
  3. Procedure involving radiation


Informed Consent and mental competence:

  • the pt personally signs the consent if he or she is of legal age and is mentally capable
  • Minors, unconscious or incompetent persons – permission must be obtained from a responsible family member (preferably next of kin or legal guardian)
  • emancipated minor (married or independently earning their own living) may sign their own consent form


Situations where Obtaining Informed Consent may not be possible – Emergencies:

  • In emergency situations consent from family may be obtained through telephone, fax or other electronic means
  • every effort must be made to contact patient`s family or legal guardian
  • operations as a lifesaving measure
  • Decisions will be made on behalf of unconscious pt or minor in emergency situations by healthcare team in adherence with moral, ethical and legal guidlines
  • decisions will be made along the lines of what the average person would want if they were in the particular situation at hand.

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