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The importance of informed consent

When a physician wishes to perform a medical procedure on his patient, the physician must obtain the patient’s informed consent before proceeding. Informed consent is an important part of medicine with few exceptions, as lack of consent can result in unwanted procedures and treatments.

Obtaining informed consent means informing the patient about the procedure to be performed and the risks involved, as well as answering their questions before they agree to undergo treatment.

This is important, as patients can learn facts about their medical history that make the procedures unfavorable. Furthermore, patients have the right to refuse treatment if they choose that they would rather live with an ailment than go through a potentially painful procedure.

When a doctor or other healthcare provider informs a patient about a procedure, they may not omit information to make the procedure appear more favorable. Also, the medical professional cannot tell a patient that one procedure is their only option when, in fact, they have more.

Both forms of deception are considered coercion by the medical professional. Coercion can also include forcing a patient to receive treatment against their will.

There is a major exception to the consent rule, which is when a person cannot give informed consent and a close relative or legal guardian cannot be found within a reasonable period of time. In these cases, healthcare providers can perform procedures only if the procedure is essential to saving the person’s life.

When a medical professional does not obtain your informed consent for a procedure and you are injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your suffering.

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