Are we requesting the right consent?
Background: Medical treatment can only be administered with consent of a competent patient. Giving the treatment without consent is failure to respect patient’s autonomy; violating an individual’s right to self-determination.
Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study to evaluate the consent forms from various hospitals. Consent forms of 372 out of 750 medical institutes in Nagpur were evaluated under 20 ethical and medico legal aspects of an ideal consent form.
Results: Most of the consent forms lack important clauses of an ideal consent form that can go against the treating doctors in the court of law.
Conclusions: Doctors need to be trained to design a consent form. They need to be made aware of the medico legal rights of the patient. The consent form is for the patients to acknowledge that the nature and purpose of treatment has been fully explained, understood and consented to. Remember patients never consent to doctor’s negligence but only to risks and complications.
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