Define informed consent and give examples?
- Rose .Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Informed consent is a phrase often used in the law to indicate that the consent a person gives meets certain minimum standards. As a literal matter, in the absence of fraud, it is redundant. An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given. Impairments to reasoning and judgement which may make it impossible for someone to give informed consent include such factors as severe mental retardation, severe mental illness, intoxication, severe sleep deprivation, Alzheimer's disease, or being in a coma. This term was first used in a 1957 medical malpractice case by Paul G. Gebhard.
Some acts cannot legally take place because of a lack of informed consent. In cases where an individual is considered unable to give informed consent, another person is generally authorized to give consent on his behalf, e.g., parents or legal guardians of a child and caregivers for the mentally ill. However, if a severely injured person is brought to hospital in an unconscious state and no-one is available to give informed consent, doctors will give whatever treatment is necessary to save their life (according to the Hippocratic oath), which might involve major surgery, e.g., amputation.
In cases where an individual is provided insufficient information to form a reasoned decision, serious ethical issues arise. Such cases in a clinical trial in medical research are anticipated and prevented by an ethics committee or Institutional Review Board.
Brief examples of each of the above:
A person may verbally agree to something from fear, perceived social pressure, or psychological difficulty in asserting his true feelings. The person requesting the action may honestly be unaware of this and believe the consent is genuine, and rely upon it. Consent is expressed, but not internally given.
A person may state he understands the implications of some action, as part of his consent, but in fact has failed to appreciate the possible consequences fully and later deny the validity of his consent for this reason. Understanding needed for informed consent is stated to be present but is in fact (through ignorance) not present.
A person may move from friendship to sexual contact on the basis of body language and apparent receptivity, but very few people on a date that results in sexual contact have explicitly asked the other if his or her consent is informed, if he does in fact fully understand what is implied, and all potential conditions or results. Informed consent is implied (or assumed unless disproved) but not stated explicitly.
A person below the age of consent may agree to sex, knowing all the consequences, but his or her consent is deemed invalid as he is deemed to be a child unaware of the issues and thus incapable of being informed consent. Individual is barred from legally giving informed consent, despite what they may feel (1)
In some countries (notably the United Kingdom), individuals may not consent to injuries being inflicted upon them, and so a person practicing sadism and masochism upon a consenting partner may be deemed to have caused actual bodily harm without consent, actual consent notwithstanding. Individual is barred from legally giving informed consent, despite what they may feel (2). See also Spanner case and 'consensual non-consensuality'.
A person signs a legal release form for a medical procedure, and later feels he did not really consent. Unless he can show actual misinformation, the release is usually persuasive or conclusive in law, in that the clinician may rely legally upon it for consent. In formal circumstances, a written consent will usually legally override later denial of informed consent (unless obtained by misrepresentation)
A person or institution (e.g., a school or childcare professional) exposes a minor to non-age-appropriate material, in any media format, without the expressed informed consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian. Informed consent in this instance goes to the argument of competency on the part of the minor. An example would be the showing of an R rated movie to a 12-year-old by an educational institution without the informed consent of the parent or legal guardian.
For more information, kindly visit this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informed_consent
- shellyLv 51 decade ago
it is the communication between medical professional and patient in which the patient is given information and helped to understand all the implications of a procedure, including why it's necessary, what the alternatives are, and what kind of risks it involves- and the authorization by patient or family for the procedure to be done.
when i had kidney stones and needed a stint in my left kidney, the urologist took painstaking efforts to explain the procedure to me and exactly what happens, how it will help my body to deal with the stone, and what kinds of things could potentially go wrong as a result of getting the stint- this way I wasn't just signing authorization forms for the procedure, I was giving informed consent.
If a doctor just makes the patient or family sign consent forms without making sure they understand the procedure, then that is not informed consent.
hope this helps.