Informed Consent

A legal doctrine that requires a physician to obtain consent for treatment rendered, an operation performed, or many diagnostic procedures

Informed consent requires the following conditions be met:

1. Must be voluntary

2. Information:

■ Risks and benefits of the procedure are discussed.

■ Alternatives to procedure are discussed.

■ Consequences of not undergoing the procedure are discussed.

■ Physician must be willing to discuss the procedure and answer any questions the patient has.

3. The patient must be competent.


The following are certain cases in which informed consent need not be obtained:

The annual incidence of sexual assault is 73 per 100,000 females.

Seventy-five percent of rape victims knew the person who assaulted them.

1. Lifesaving medical emergency

2. Suicide prevention

3. Normally, minors must have consent obtained from their parents. However, minors may give their own consent for certain treatments, such as alcohol detox and treatment for venereal diseases.

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