Informed Consent

You don’t have to proceed with a test or treatment if you don’t want to – you can say “no”.    

 

Granting permission to proceed to any medical test or treatment is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

It’s your right to know the clinical  experience of your healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating your injury or condition.

It’s not offensive or uncommon to ask any healthcare professional (1) how many years they’ve been in practice  (2) how many patients they’ve treated with your injury or condition and (3) how did those patients do.

All licensed healthcare professionals are required to  make every effort to ensure  that you are fully educated and understand the  information below,  at every appointment and  before performing or repeating any test or treatment;

(1) the purpose and goals of a given test or treatment,

(2) current evidence on the benefits and risks of a given test or treatment,

(3) current evidence on the benefits and risks of other tests or treatments that are available for their condition.

Just because you underwent the same treatment yesterday doesn’t mean your healthcare professional can repeat it without asking for your permission to do so again.

If you’re uncertain about whether a given test or treatment is helpful, you can say “no” to further treatments  and all licensed healthcare professionals must respect your decision.

 

 

Don’t be afraid to ask these five questions.

 

Everyday new research evidence is published on tests and treatments that can improve the accuracy of a diagnosis or the effectiveness of a treatment.

Regrettably not all healthcare professionals stay up to date and consequently;

  1. They can continue to offer unnecessary tests and / or treatments that do not help or may make your condition worse.
  2. They can use new treatments  or procedures that are not supported by published independent research.

 

Before agreeing to undergo a treatment, here are five questions your to ask healthcare professional to answer before agreeing to undergo any  treatment.

  1. What is the purpose or goal of this treatment?
  2. Is there independent and published research  that  this treatment  works for everyone with my condition?
  3. Are there risks that  this treatment could make my condition worse or cause other health problems?
  4. Are there other treatments available for my condition?
  5. How does the treatment  that you’re recommending compare to other treatments in terms of benefits, risks and costs?

 

Once again, if you’re not 100% confident in your healthcare professional’s clinical experience or the treatment that they are recommending, you can say ‘no’ .

Do your own research.

 

You deserve the highest standard of diagnostics and evidence-based care for your injury or  condition.

In order to help you make the most informed decision about a  treatment,  it’s  important to  access to unbiased and independent research / evidence.

The most respected and widely used internet resource used by healthcare professionals around the world is called Cochrane Reviews

To perform a search into any test or treatment, click  the link to Cochrane Reviews  and enter your injury, symptoms or treatments  in the search box to see what the research says.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.orthopaedicscanada.com/informed-consent/