Everyone should be aware of the concept of “informed consent” before agreeing to any kind of medical procedure, such as the procedures that will come up during pregnancy and childbirth. Here is all you need to know about informed consent in your health care.
What is Informed Consent?
The term “informed consent” refers to the process in which a healthcare practitioner provides details to the patient of potential risks, advantages, and alternatives for a proposed medical treatment.
Informed consent occurs when a patient’s communication with a practitioner results in the patient’s knowledgeable authorization or agreement to undergo a certain medical intervention.
Before undergoing any kind of therapy or operation, a patient has the right to learn about the process and have any questions answered.
The process of Informed consent may look like this:
- Learning the name of your condition
- Learning the name of the procedure that the healthcare professional suggests
- Learning the benefits and risks of the procedure
- Learning the risks and advantages of different decisions, such as forgoing the procedure
- Understanding your capacity to make reasonable decisions and an explanation of the information needed to do so
- Understanding your awareness of the medical information and being able to make a free choice to seek treatment
What is the main purpose of informed consent?
The main purpose of informed consent is to ensure the protection and autonomy of a patient and provide evidence-based care.
The patient’s safety should be the top priority throughout the whole process of obtaining informed consent.
Consent forms are legally binding documents that keep you and your practitioner in agreement. It means you’ve been provided information about your condition and treatment choices by your doctor, and you’ve decided based on that knowledge.
Your state’s laws may specify the form (verbal or written) in which you must be provided information about your treatment choices.
Your health care provider collaborates with you to choose the optimal method for providing the information you require and may opt to employ means to assist you in understanding the information better. These may include:
- Interactive computer modules
- Audio files
Ensure that you comprehend all the information provided, even if it involves reviewing it many times or asking your provider to clarify it in alternative ways.
Why is informed consent important?
Informed consent shows respect for individual autonomy. It guarantees non-experts all the relevant information, such as risks, repercussions, and alternatives to their decision, before they opt for a medical procedure.
Different people have different risk values and ethical values. Informed consent ensures a patient’s decision reflects their values and preferences.
If you have any questions regarding informed consent and your care at Willow Midwife Center, please give us a call!