Principles of Informed Consent
Acquiring informed consent is an ethical and legal obligation upon every clinic before a patient can be treated. Patient consent cannot be considered valid unless it is “informed consent”. As such, the following criteria must be met:
- Consent is given voluntarily, without any deceit or deliberate coercion
- Consent is given by the patient or the patient’s representative who has the capacity to do so
- Consent is given by the patient or the patient’s representative who has been made fully aware of the procedure, potential issues or different treatment options
Consent can either be written, verbal or implied/non-verbal. A written consent might be given by signing a consent form prior to a surgical procedure. And, a non-verbal consent may be in the form of an acknowledgement from the patient; that they understand what treatment or procedure they are about to undergo, such as willingly extending their arm for a blood test.