Before many crucial healthcare procedures are conducted, there are acceptable ethical and legal principles that a trained healthcare provider must obtain. This is referred to as an informed consent from the consumer (or patient). Patient informed consent is a situation where a…
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The process of obtaining informed consent can be conducted as a single event or a series of multiple discussions in hospital wards, for inpatients or outpatients. This paper is determined to provide detailed information about the meaning of informed consent to intervention and the significance of obtaining patient informed consent to intervention in physical therapy practice. Additionally, it further describes how patient informed consent to intervention reflects the ethical principle of respecting the patient’s autonomy and its legal aspect.
Valid or informed consent has history in ethical theory, law and clinical and research practice. Its determining factors in clinical theory include the disclosure of the information by a healthcare provider, understanding and consent from the patient and a patient’s competence and preconditions of voluntariness (Delany, 2007). On the other hand, the philosophical theory that underlines valid consent is the issue of autonomy that is defined as the self-rule or self-governance. This is the freedom of people to express individual preferences and aspirations, or the capacity of people to choose or reflect (Delany, 2007). Before a clinician or a therapist to approve a patient’s informed consent to be valid, he or she must ensure that the patient is competent; meaning that he or she must be of sound mind to make valid and correct judgments, which must also be voluntarily provided. Voluntariness can be enhanced by making a clear statement to the patient that he or she is participating in a decision-making process, but not merely engaging in a simple talk to receive a treatment. This is a significant means of making it clear for the patient that informed consent process is an invitation for her or him to participate in a healthcare decision-making process (Delany, 2007). Likewise, a clinician is also mandated to give a recommendation and share his thoughts with the patient.
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(DOH, 2001a: p.4; DOH, 2001b: p. 7)
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