Definition and Importance of Informed Consent

What is Informed Consent? Although informed consent is sometimes perceived as just another piece of paperwork, it is much more than just a signature on a form. Informed consent is a process of education and communication. Patients have a choice when it comes to medical treatment. A well conducted informed consent process allows them to weigh all options, evaluate risks, and make educated choices. This process not only keeps patients safe; it also assists in the defense against malpractice claims. The American Medical Association (AMA) defines the informed consent process this way: Informed consent is more than simply getting a patient to sign a written consent form. It is a process of communication between a patient and physician that resu...
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