Informed Consent Law

Informed Consent Law covers the legal aspect regarding an individual's right to be informed of and consent to a procedure or treatment suggested by a physician or professional. This written authorization can limit professional liability issues for the individual providing the service.

Prior to signing this agreement, ethics dictate that the physician providing or performing the treatment and/or procedure should discuss with the patient the patient's diagnosis; the purpose of the treatment or procedure; the risks involved; alternative treatments; and the risks and benefits of refusing treatment. The patient can then make an informed decision to accept or refuse the treatment or procedure. In the event that the patient is incapacitated to the point of not being able to make an informed decision, a family member, as authorized by law, can replace the patient.

Informed consent is used not only in the medical sector but in any other sector where an individual's wellbeing and/or health are at stake. When accepting to undergo experimental treatments or clinical trials an individual has the right to be informed of all the risks involved and consent to the latter.

Some states have statutes that are designated as the Patient's Bill of Rights. It ensures that the patient is treated fairly by the health care system and that the system is under the obligation to meet the patient's requirements. It gives the patient the right to address any issues they may have and it encourages the active role of staying healthy or getting healthy by patients.

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