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informed-consent

Informed Consent? Don’t Bet On It

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  March 15, 2017  |  

Doctors must fully inform their patients about the risks involved in any proposed medical procedure or treatment. In both medical and legal terminology, this is called ‘informed consent.’ According to a recent article in the New York Times, “the secret is that informed consent in health care is commonly not-so-well-informed.”

Read more on the New York Times.

Almost all medical procedures or treatments involve some risk. It is the physician’s responsibility to give the patient information about a course of treatment or procedure so the patient can make an informed decision on whether to undergo the treatment. Here are some tips in order to be fully informed:

  • Ask physicians to explain medical terms to avoid a misunderstanding;
  • Summarize what you think you heard so the physician can verify if your understanding is correct;
  • Request pictures, illustrations or videos of any procedure;
  • Ask for best-case, worst-case, and most likely scenarios;
  • Ask if you can speak to someone who has already undergone the particular treatment;
  • Explore alternative treatment options;
  • Take notes

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