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Informed Consent In Health Care

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In the health care field, the concept of informed consent allows patients to make their own decisions regarding their health care. A patient and physician have a discussion about the details of a medical process. They must discuss risks, alternatives and outcome of treatment. If a patient agrees to the terms of treatment then they are allowing or giving consent to the physician. Patient education and communication are vital during this process. Often doctors will try to act in beneficence but it is critical that they respect a patient’s autonomy. They have a duty to no do harm which can make it difficult if doctors and patients cannot come to an agreement on treatments. If a physician acts without consent then it can result in battery or negligence.…show more content…
It gives a code which doctors must adhere by and that they should try to do what is best for their patients. They first and most important part of the oath would be “do no harm.” This refers to how doctors should always try to follow the best course of action to help their patients without hurting them. Informed consent regulations came around due to human experimentation in WWII. Unfortunately, many humans were used as test subjects to perform unethical experiments by Nazi doctors. They claimed there were no laws about medical research to defend their actions. The Nuremberg code of 1947 was written in response to this. It is one of the most famous documents on human testing and the concept of informed consent. The Nuremberg code has 10 standards to which doctors must conform to when deciding to do human testing. After the Nuremberg code was written, the Declaration of Helsinki was written in 1964 in Poland and it helped define ethics and human…show more content…
“In addition to federal regulations, all 50 states have adopted some form of informed consent law, and many have adopted additional regulations as well, but there is wide variation among state laws regarding both clinical and research settings.” In South Carolina, a court case called Hook v. Rothstein sets the precedence for informed consent. The case is about a man named Jack Summers who went to his doctor complaining of stomach pain. The doctor gave him an antacid to help relieve pain and suggested he watch his diet. His pain did not subside so he had tests done which showed he had a large tumor in his intestines. After consulting many doctors, Summers decided on a procedure to treat his pain. This procedure was a great risk for patients who suffered from allergies and a negative reaction to the process could cause death in those patients. Mr. Summers did not tell his doctor that he was an allergy sufferer. Summers unfortunately did have an adverse reaction which resulted in his death. The lawsuit came about because it was claimed Dr. Rothstein did not inform Mr. Summers of all of the risks of the treatment. It was considered an act of negligence on Rothstein’s part. As a result of the law suit, South Carolina regulations insist a physician must inform the patient specifically of: the diagnosis, nature of treatment, risks, the probability of success, the outcome if no treatment is desired, and any
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