The Importance Of Informed Consent

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Informed consent, what is it and why do patients give it? Well, in the medical field a person must give informed consent before receiving treatment. But what does informed consent even mean? It can be hard to even understand what informed consent is and so this leads a person to wonder ethically if there might also be barriers that would prevent a person from giving informed consent. Could language be a barrier, for example can a medical professional “dumb” down a medical procedure enough for a high school dropout or for a child to understand the treatment being offered to them? While that might sound quite harsh the reality is that some medical patients are exactly that, high school dropouts or young children. Informed consent is supposed to show that the patient has been informed of the possible risks or consequences, typically for treatment they are agreeing to receive from a doctor. A person might be faced with giving informed consent in research settings, specialized treatments, and/or routine appointments with any healthcare provider. In the medical field physicians must obtain informed consent from every patient/patient representative in order to treat the patient without leaving themselves open to a lawsuit for negligence. However, is there a way to know whether the patient or their representative even understand the treatment being offered so that they can truly give informed consent. Doctors go to school for many years to understand and to be able to treat the
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