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Informed consent creates trust between doctor and patient by ensuring good understanding. For UK health professionals only The roundtable discussion and this associated article…, Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our, EMAP Publishing Limited Company number 7880758 (England & Wales) Registered address: 7th Floor, Vantage London, Great West Road, Brentford, United Kingdom, TW8 9AG, We use cookies to personalize and improve your experience on our site. Mrs Montgomery went into labour. There is a legal principle that ignorance is not a defence: if a law is not known or not understood, this does not remove any liability that comes with it. It also reduces the risk for both patient and doctor. Apex court of India in the case of Ms. Samira Kohli V/s Prabha Manchanda (2008) 2 SCC 1. This is one of the main reasons why patient consent, also known as informed consent, is so important. Informed Consent is still an issue on the healthcare agenda. Although healthcare providers have a legal obligation to provide treatment for their patients and may incur liability in civil law (negligence) or even criminal law if they fail to do so, they may also be liable if treatment is given without the patient’s consent. The patient’s decision must be respected even if it is considered foolish, unfounded or irrational (Re T (Adult: Refusal of Medical Treatment) [1992] 4 All ER 649). With this comes the duty for practitioners “to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments”. This article – the first in a two-part series – explores the legal principles of informed consent in adults, considers why it is fundamental to the provisio… Box 3. Nurses make many clinical judgements and decisions throughout the course of their working day. For the purpose of this article, person-centred care is defined as the “approach to care that places the person at the centre of their own care. The Importance Of Informed Consent 834 Words | 4 Pages. The concept is not explained in the NMC Code, but the doctrine of informed consent as a principle in English law was clearly established in Chester v Afshar [2004] UKHL 41. The Code emphasises the need for nurses to “keep to all relevant laws about mental capacity that apply in the country in which [they] are practising, and make sure that the rights and best interests of those who lack capacity are still at the centre of the decision-making process”. Mrs Montgomery, who had type 1 diabetes, was expecting her first baby; a pre-natal assessment indicated that the baby would be large. Their patients are informed about the proposed treatment; They have their patients’ consent before starting treatment. It will also discuss situations in which treatments and interventions may be given lawfully in the absence of consent. This is important since even treatments which are meant to help a patient come with risks, and it is essential for patients to accept those risks when getting care. – That it is a requirement of justice, understood in terms of patient empowerment. It is important that nurses understand the legal and ethical rationale behind the principles of informed consent so that the principles are applied appropriately to the particular context of nursing care. Patients are “now widely regarded as persons holding rights, rather than as the passive recipients of the care of the medical profession. With informed consent, a patient can consent to treatment that they understand. It is important to give adequate information to enable them to accept or refuse their treatment. Patients no longer have unquestioning faith in their doctors and nurses. Informed consent does not mean simply completing and signing a consent form. Request a quote today to see how Gallagher Healthcare can work to bring you affordable coverage. Nursing Times [online]; 114: 6, 25-28. The second article in this series will consider what makes consent valid and explains that this may depend on the circumstances in which care is planned. Sign in or Register a new account to join the discussion. To recognise and uphold their patients’ rights, nurses must not only be aware of the standards set out in the Code, but also understand their legal basis. Nursing Standard. In civil cases, the claimant (usually the patie… As well as understanding the legal framework that underpins care, nurses need to be aware that the law can change quickly, even after long periods without changes. Nurses know they must have their patients’ informed consent before giving any form of care or treatment but they may not be fully aware of the legal basis behind this and the implications of not doing so. Generally, patients are no longer passive recipients but, rather, active partners in their care. Pain, medication and some medical conditions can affect judgment and understanding, so doctors must consider these factors when seeking consent from a patient. Many times Doctors do not pay importance to this fundamental aspect. When patients agree to a treatment, they must sign paperwork indicating they understand the risks and agreeing doctors can take specific life-saving measures if needed. © Copyright 2015 by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. All Rights Reserved. This applies to all areas of life, including healthcare (Re F (Mental Patient: Sterilisation) [1990] 2 AC 1) and means patients generally have the right to make decisions about their care – for example, whether to accept a treatment or intervention – even if their “refusal may risk permanent injury to [their] health or even lead to premature death”. Why is it important? The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code says that nurses must not only “act in the best interests of people at all times”, but also balance this with “the requirement to respect a person’s right to accept or refuse treatment”. What does it mean for practice? | Our expert agents negotiate pricing and compare medical malpractice insurance solutions with all major A-rated carriers and alternative markets on your behalf, providing you with the best possible option available in the insurance marketplace. 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