What is Informed Consent?
Healthcare professionals must secure every patients’ permission before initiating any treatment or test AND at every appointment.
All licensed healthcare professionals are required to make every effort to make sure that every patient is fully educated and understands the following information before performing 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.
By granting informed consent (permission) to a healthcare professional to perform a given treatment or test – you are acknowledging that you were informed and accepted responsibility the risks. You cannot blame the healthcare professional after the treatment or test if you were informed in advance and granted consent / permission. For this reason, you may be asked to sign a consent form by a healthcare professional.
Granting informed consent for a given test or treatment at one appointment does not automatically mean it can be repeated at a future appointment without securing your consent again (i.e there may be new evidence about a test or treatment that you should be made aware of).
At every appointment your healthcare professional must educate you and ask for your consent to perform any treatment – even if you’ve undergone the treatment in the past.
Questions you should ask your healthcare provider
Before agreeing to undergo a treatment, here are five questions your healthcare professional should be able to answer for you first.
- What is the purpose or goal of a given treatment “x”?
- Is there independent and published research that treatment “x” works for everyone with your condition?
- Are there risks that treatment “x” could make your condition worse or cause other health problems?
- Are there other treatments available for your condition?
- How does treatment “x” compare to other treatments in terms of benefits, risks and costs?
Ask Dr. Pedro or Dr. Cochrane.
In order to help you make the most informed decision about a treatment, it’s important to access to unbiased and independent research / evidence.
Here are two internationally recognized and respected online databases – that I call Dr. Pedro and Dr. Cochrane – they are both free and are used by healthcare professionals around the world.
Rather than citing Dr. Google at your appointment – tell your healthcare professional that you searched Cochrane Reviews and Pedro databases.
To perform a search click below and enter your injury or symptom and a treatment to see what the research says.
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