We review the concept of informed consent in clinical medicine and in research. Informed consent is a complex practice designed to protect the legal rights of the patient, to maintain ethics in support of the patient's autonomy to arrive at his own decisions related to medical interventions, to ensure appropriate quality of care, and to build trust between the physician and the patient regarding medical procedures, medication or clinical research. It must be borne in mind that the patient's signature on a document of informed consent does not automatically imply comprehension. Physicians need to provide the information about the patient's condition, and in the case of research, they need to provide an exhaustive explanation related to benefits and the risks of the research project for the patient and to society. Physicians need to be available to readily answer patients' questions. Signing an informed consent form should not become a mere bureaucratic procedure of "going through the motions". Without emphasis on delivering understandable and relevant information, tailored to the recipient and clarifying that explanations have been properly understood, informed consent becomes but a bureaucratic burden. There is an urgent need to complete the process of conveying information by a structured mechanism aimed to ensure adequate comprehension. Only then will the process of obtaining informed consent become meaningful.
|Pages (from-to)||115-118, 125|
|State||Published - Feb 2014|