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Informed Consent

Informed consent is the process by which a physician educates a patient on a recommendation, which is then agreed to by the patient with complete understanding of what is being recommended. Typically, the patient will then sign a legal release form.

According to the University of Washington School of Medicine, The most important goal of informed consent is that the patient has an opportunity to be an informed participant in his/her health care decisions.

The American Medical Association advises physicians to discuss with the patient:

  • The patient's diagnosis, if known
  • The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure
  • The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure
  • Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance)
  • The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure
  • The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.

The patient should then have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure, so that he/she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular course of medical intervention.

This communications process is both an ethical obligation and a legal requirement spelled out in statutes and case law in all 50 states.

Problems with Traditional Informed Consent

Today's informed consent process consists primarily of written consent forms and often contains errors and/or lacks information necessary to a patient.

Written consent are an impersonal way to obtain consent from a patient without making sure the patient is completely comfortable with what is about to happen.

The Ideal Consent Solution

Ideal consent is a revolutionary, computer-based informed consent process that combines informative videos and the written consent form for optimum patient understanding prior to a medical procedure.

Ideal Consent offers 30-second video clips, a question and answer option, and written dialogue. Patients are also able to create an account with Ideal Consent and can access their consent at any time for further review.

References

"Informed Consent." Retrieved June 19, 2008, from American Medical Association Web site:
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/4608.html

"Informed Consent." Retrieved June 19, 2008, from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informed_consent

"Informed Consent." Retrieved June 19, 2008, from University of Washington School of Medicine Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/consent.html