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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We included studies that evaluated one or more reform options as described by Kessler and McClellan in the earliest paper that assessed the effect of tort reform on defensive medicine. (16) Table 1 summarizes these reforms.
Defensive medicine is greater in states with higher risk of medical tort.
The study found that defensive medicine was primarily practiced in the diagnosis stage.
However, the evidence to support my suspicion that defensive medicine is a significant financial drain on our economy has been difficult to tease out of the tangled web of confounders that is woven into our patchwork health care system.
At a societal level, defensive medicine is reported to add substantially to the nation's medical bill.
Defensive medicine is medical routine carried out chiefly to confine subsequent risk of an effective lawsuit against the physician and indirectly to comply to the medical criteria of care.
Defensive medicine is the lingering result of lawsuit fear, added Darren McKinney director of communications at the American Tort Reform Association.
Defensive medicine is the lingering result of lawsuit fear, added Darren McKinney, director of communications at the American Tort Reform Association.
A New York Times article (5) pointed out that "To be sued less, doctors should consider talking to patients more." The article talked about the litigious culture leading to more "defensive medicine." Indeed, massive cultural revolution, incentivizing a move away from blind defensive medicine, is needed to address a number of cascading key trigger points in support of appropriate imaging.
Controversy exists over whether defensive medicine is widely practiced and whether it raises health care costs.