It may not provide a valid legal defence if, for example, the patient felt obliged or was persuaded by others to accept treatment. This is the case of the law relating to consent to treatment. Sign in or Register a new account to join the discussion. The process of clinical decision making has been widely explored and can be explained in a number of ways, ranging from the intuitive to the analytical (Taylor, 2005; Thompson and Dowding, 2001; Hamm, 1988). When this case was first heard, the Scottish Court of Session followed the approach taken in Sidaway v Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital [1985] AC 871 and concluded there was insufficient risk of significant harm to Mrs Montgomery to warrant a warning. This material should be presented in a way that is easy for them to understand. What does informed consent mean? 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. ‘Employers must do their utmost to support their nursing staff’, The law on informed consent in adults has recently changed. However, this comes with three caveats: It must be noted that, although much of the existing case law refers to doctors, the legal principles on informed consent apply in just the same way to nurses and all other health professionals (Young, 2009). Think about consent as a process to assure patient understanding and agreement, not just signing a form. This could simply mean following their suggestions, such as the doctor asking you if they can take your blood pressure and you … Informed consent creates trust between doctor and patient by ensuring good understanding. She would have been given this information only if she had asked “specifically about exact risks” (Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11). In Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789, Lord Keith of Kinkel stated that “it is unlawful, so as to constitute both a tort and the crime of battery, to administer medical treatment to an adult, who is conscious and of sound mind, without his consent”. Some patients may be particularly vulnerable to pressure from others so nurses need to be alert to the possibility of coercion and make every effort to ensure patients are supported to reach their own decision (General Medical Council, 2008). Request a quote today to see how Gallagher Healthcare can work to bring you affordable coverage. Informed consent should be a collaborative activity between the physician, nurse, and patient. The requirement for nurses to obtain consent prior to nursing care procedures is addressed in various nursing policy documents. Person-centred care implies the centrality of the patient, who is seen as a key participant in care, rather than the passive recipient of it. – That it is a central feature of the covenant relationship between professional and patient, expressing the professional virtue of fidelity. If there is doubt as to whether consent was sufficiently informed, a decision will be made by the court (Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11; Chester v Afshar [2004]). Non-consensual touching may breach both civil and criminal law. 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… In any medical setting, decisions are made often. What is Informed Consent Before a doctor, nurse or any healthcare practitioner can examine or treat you, they usually need your consent or permission. Informed consent is a process in which a patient gives consent to treatment after a healthcare provider discusses information related to the procedure so that the patient can make an educated decision whether to refuse or accept treatment (Hall, Prochazka, & Fink, 2012). In recent years, their confidence in health professionals and the healthcare system has been eroded by a succession of scandals (McCrae, 2013). 8) and ensuring its comprehension (Federal Register, 2017). The NMC Code expands on this by stating that nurses must ensure that they “get properly informed consent and document it before carrying out any action” (NMC, 2015). The Code of Ethics (American Nurses Association, 2010), contextualizes the nurse's call to advocacy within the doctrine of informed consent.This article offers a primer on the legal, ethical, and practical aspects of procedural informed consent and examines the value of nursing's role within the process. © Copyright 2015 by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. All Rights Reserved. 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. Informed consent can also mean patients are informed if treatment is recommended, as well as what might happen if they get no treatment. A most important way in which these rights are upheld is through the process of informed consent which can be oral or written and must be stated in each participant document or chart (American Nurses Association, 1985). Gallagher Healthcare is a specialty niche of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the largest insurance brokerages in the world. Why is it important? Compliance with “the professional standards that registered nurses and midwives must uphold [is] not negotiable or discretionary” (NMC, 2015). She sued the NHS trust, arguing that she should have been advised of the risks of vaginal delivery and that, if she had been aware of those risks, she would have opted for an elective Caesarean section. This meant doctors were able to withhold information from their patients and would not be deemed negligent provided they had “acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art” (Bolam v Friern Management Committee [1957] 2 All ER 118). Informed consent in healthcare is the law, codified by the 1914 Schloendorff vs. Argument. Consent may be given orally, or it may be implied - as when a patient rolls up their sleeve and offers their arm so you can take their blood pressure.For more complicated procedures, you must obtain the patient's express consent, and this will usually be in writing, by signing a consent form. In the past, there was a paternalistic approach to healthcare: doctors decided not only what treatment would best fit their patients’ needs, but also what information to give to them. The trust-promotion argument for informed consent , as Eyal terms it, states (1) that trust in medical practice is necessary to ensure that people seek and comply with medical advice and participate in medical research, (2) that as a result it is ‘usually wrong to jeopardise that trust’, (3) that violations of informed consent jeopardise that trust, and (4) that standard informed consent requirements are … Many times Doctors do not pay importance to this fundamental aspect. Consent from a patient is needed regardless of the procedure, whether it's a physical examination, organ donation or something else. It is also an important ethical consideration for doctors and healthcare providers. 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