When one is well equipped with the right information, implications and facts, including the future consequences, then we can say that he is well informed. One must posses all the relevant information at that particular time when the information is needed. In ethics, informed consent basically implies that the affected person must be aware and fully informed on the advantages and disadvantages of his or her chosen mode of treatment. This does not allow the doctor to make decision on behalf of the patient but simply give information in a broader picture. In cases where one is not well informed, then he or she can authorize someone to present him or her during the decision making process (Manson, 2008). There have been cases where some legal steps can not take place due to lack of informed consent. In such cases, a relative can step in to give the informed consent on his behalf.
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There are other extreme cases however whereby a patient for instance has had an accident and has been brought to the hospital by strangers and the patient is unconscious. In such cases, the doctor can give informed consent and give medications to the patient to save his life. According to Hippocratic Oath, this is allowed and it may involve major surgeries like amputation (Fisher, 2003). It is only on such cases and cases where one is not well informed that one can be assisted in making the decision and not in other cases.
As much as the law insists that the patient should be given full information of the procedure and the treatments, the physicians insist on retaining some information arguing that this information simply scares away and most patients will decline and not take up the medications (Berger, 2006). Here, the physicians are being too unfair and they should be held responsible incases of future psychological torture to the patient.
They should give all the information required but give their advice and encourage patient to use their preferred option but not holding some information back. The patient has a right to know everything whether or not he will accept your option. They should encourage a patient to try their option since it's their area of specialization and that the doctors have much experience in that field but they should not in whatever reason fail to give all the information to the doctor (Westrick, 2008).
Assessment of consent
It is very technical when it comes to consent evaluation because, one can accept to have been given the information but not understood hence making a wrong decision. There have been some cases where a patient is lightened up from unconsciousness to make him participate in the decision making. This is completely not ethical and it should be stopped. As long as the person is not in a position to make appropriate decision compared to other normal days that he used to, then it is quiet in order when a person whereby a relative who has sober mind should be chosen (Ostrow, 1999). When a patient agrees to the suggestions of a doctor, he assumes that the doctor is well equipped and that the doctor will give better decisions. This is normally common to unskilled women who may want information about their babies.
Cases like abortion, a woman should be given all the relevant information for her to decide. There have been cases whereby the life of a mother is at risk if she gives birth and the only solution remaining is to abort the child. While this is a fact, a mother should also be informed and allowed to make decision. In most cases, doctors just go ahead and abort and later inform the mother that her life was at risk. If the mother's decision is to save her child at her expense, then let it be. For one to confirm that he has all the information at hand he should be in a position to know the nature of the decision, and he should have other alternatives at hand and at the same knowledge (Manson, 2008).
These are basically the rules that have been set to protect the patient both lawfully and ethically. Herein, the doctor is not allowed to unveil some information to the court just to ensure some privacy and maintain his morals ethically (Westrick, 2008). For example in a court case where a lady was raped and had damages, the doctor is only allowed to give the impression that the lady was sexually abused but he is not supposed to give more details as to how she was abused. This is not important to the public anyway but to the affected person and the doctor only. The victim can choose to tell the doctor or decide to keep to her own. The doctor on the other side has no authority to tell anyone apart from the affected person. There are laws that govern this. People need to be sensitized to avoid lack of awareness to the public as this is not a defense.
Autonomy as a principle should recognize each patient rights to ensure self respect and just among the society. This has been moved down to individual level where one is allowed to make an individual decision where life matters. Lack of autonomy increases disease in the society by at least 30%. This should send a signal that there need to be autonomy as an indicator of personal health. There have been cases whereby psychiatrists are asked to predict whether a patient will survive in an incidence of long illness and basing on the data and the current condition, he easily rules out that he may not survive but surprisingly most have been surviving even from a coma stage. It is only the patient who knows his position and if he will survive or not and not the doctor. The psychiatrics just have suggestions and that should be personal and keep it to themselves.
There have been several standards that have been put in place to ensure this law is in place but the most important of all is that there have been ethical principles that go together with these standards of informed consent. Psychologists now are required to embrace accuracy, trust, and truthfulness in their professionalism. They are not supposed to engage themselves in behaviors that are likely to undermine human ethics. Therefore they are not to indulge in any bribe cases, subterfuge, or fraud. The worst of all they should not misinterpret information at their disposal.
The psychologists are to respect the dignity and the respect of each patient. Confidentiality should be observed equally without considering the class of an individual or the race or the group where the patient comes from. It is not just to discriminate different patients. All complains must be treated as equal and with a lot of respect and dignity. Equality here is the most important aspect when it comes to handling complains. There have been cases whereby patients from upper class are given special attention more than those from other classes. It does not matter whether the patient has paid more or not, when it comes to complain handling, they should be treated the same. The decisions of the doctors have been evolving up to the point now where there is a need of developing ethics to accompany the set laws just to ensure the long life of the patients in the hospitals or at home. There have been ethical justifications that are yet to be approved. As much as children may not be in a position to give informed consent, they are given a gradual chance as they grow up just to ensure that they are not neglected in the society. This mostly happens to children who are born when they are physically challenged. They are kept in the same society of their colleague and allowed too to make their own decisions. There have come numerous organizations that their main objective is to ensure that the children are given their rights without considering gender or race or physical disabilities. There have been some arguments that even animals are supposed to be given their informed consent. This may just bring disaster in the near future if this is approved. Animals do not have the unique aspect that a human being has hence cannot really make a personal decision in most cases and especially when it comes to making tough decisions like performing a surgery on one of its body parts. That is when it will stop being a domestic pet you used to know ands turns into a wolf, or a monster that has no friends. We cannot sit back and watch this decision being implemented as already we have an idea of the repercussions that may occur in the near future if this is implemented.
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