Informed Consent

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Informed Consent

Assent to permit an occurrence, such as surgery, that is based on a complete disclosure of facts needed to make the decision intelligently, such as knowledge of the risks entailed or alternatives.

The name for a fundamental principle of law that a physician has a duty to reveal what a reasonably prudent physician in the medical community employing reasonable care would reveal to a patient as to whatever reasonably foreseeable risks of harm might result from a proposed course of treatment. This disclosure must be afforded so that a patient—exercising ordinary care for his or her own welfare and confronted with a choice of undergoing the proposed treatment, alternative treatment, or none at all—can intelligently exercise judgment by reasonably Balancing the probable risks against the probable benefits.

informed consent

n. agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only after all the relevant facts are known. In contracts, an agreement may be reached only if there has been full disclosure by both parties of everything each party knows which is significant to the agreement. A patient's consent to a medical procedure must be based on his/her having been told all the possible consequences, except in emergency cases when such consent cannot be obtained. A physician or dentist who does not tell all the possible bad news as well as the good, operates at his/her peril of a lawsuit if anything goes wrong. In criminal law, a person accused or even suspected of a crime cannot give up his/her legal rights such as remaining silent or having an attorney, unless he/she has been fully informed of his/her rights. (See: consent, Miranda warning)

References in periodicals archive ?
This convention, signed by 73 nations in 1998, is the formalization of a voluntary Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure administered jointly by UNEP and the Food and Agriculture Organization since 1989.
Yet we also recognize that for our sickest patients, some experimentation in the practice of medicine--with prior informed consent of the patient--has to and should occur.
Yet we also recognize that for our sickest patients, some experimentation in the practice of medicine-with prior informed consent of the patient-has to and should occur.
First, he acknowledges that ordinarily both medical therapy and medical research require prior informed consent from patients/subjects.