Informed consent

| March 26, 2019

The process of understanding the risks and benefits of treatment is  known as informed consent. It is based on the moral and legal premise of  patient autonomy—that patients have the right to make decisions about  their health and whether they engage in patient-provider encounters. An  institutional review board (IRB) is generally a group of subject matter  experts, scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers associated with a  health care facility that participates in a clinical-oriented research  study. IRBs are designed to protect study participants. They must review  and approve plans for any clinical research project. 

To prepare for this Discussion, you may wish to explore the Internet for information on informed consent, as can be found at American Medical Association (AMA) Informed Consent.

In this Discussion, answer the following questions:

  • What are the considerations (legal, ethical, moral, etc.) of performing a test on a patient without informed consent? 
  • What is the role of implied consent within the patient-physician encounter? 
  • What other protections should be afforded patients and participants in studies? Why?
  • How can IT be used to track informed consent and IRB protocols enforcement/adherence?
  • What are the implications of informed consent provisions for teaching hospitals? 
  • In your opinion, at what point is it ethically permissible or feasible for a patient to withdraw consent?

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