Informed Consent is defined as the act of agreeing to a medical procedure, taking into account the benefits and risks of doing said procedure. It is up to you to KNOW, UNDERSTAND and DISCERN what is in your best interest. Informed consent is a patient’s right to be presented with sufficient information, by either the physician or their representative, to allow the patient to make an informed decision regarding whether or not to consent to a treatment or procedure. Patients generally are recognized as having the right to refuse medical care for any reason. Their reasons may include any personal grounds they choose, even if the physician considers their grounds to be frivolous or in poor judgment. In order to ensure that you are in a position to make an informed decision you should meet four requirements:
  1. your competence and reasonableness (you are not under undue influence)
  2. full disclosure has been given to you (risks, benefits, alternatives)
  3. you comprehended the information given to you (can you explain it in turn?)
  4. you are voluntarily giving consent based on all of the information you have been given
Informed refusal is defined as once a procedure has been explained with all the benefits and risks, consequences for NOT doing said procedure and you understand and accept these risks knowing that an adverse outcome is possible, if not likely, and choosing NOT to have the procedure.
Against medical advice is defined as a person checking themselves out of a hospital early or refusing admittance against the advice of their physician. Such persons are usually asked to sign a form that they are aware that they are leaving or refusing against their physician’s advice. The term AMA is usually noted on the hospital’s report and said person should be aware that their insurance may not cover any subsequent care or charges as a result of their decision. When the issue is about whether you choose to undergo a procedure against your judgement and therefore absolutely put yourself at risk for which the physician will not be held accountable for OR you are not in the economic position to refuse and bear the financial burden you are under duress and should not be engaging in this agreement!
Are these things important to you? They should be!
Understanding the roots of informed consent and recognizing the physician who is paternalistic in the interpreting of informed consent affects your ability to exercise your patient rights to the fullest extent protected by law. Learn about your health and patient rights in order to have dialogue with your careprovider that gives you REAL answers to your questions about birth care options and your ability to identify and bring to fruition those birth choices that are a priority to you.
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