Clinical Practice Essay Sample
Informed consent is used in law to show that a person has given consent in order for certain requirement to be met. An informed consent can be given when there is a clear understanding and appreciation of facts and clear consequences for a given action. An example of informed consent is an approval by a patient to undergo surgical or medical treatment after understanding the risks involved The individual concerned must have enough reasoning and relevant facts when consent is issued. Whenever a person has a problem with judgment and reasoning, it makes it impossible for him to be given an informed consent. Other factors that can deny a person informed consent are emotional immaturity or basic intellect, mental retardation, stress, intoxication, sleep deprivation and being in a coma.
When a person has a consent it means that he has willingly accepted the risks that will befall him once an error or a negative outcome occurs. These outcomes are always explained to the person before a decision is made. The risks are not random but they are specifically mentioned as consequences. After this is done, the person is left for a period of time to think about the outcomes so as to come up with a final decision. When there is lack of informed consent some acts cannot be legally taken. Whenever a person is not in a position to issue an informed consent then another person can be authorized to the consent on his behalf. This people can be guardians, caregiver of the person in question or a parent. For example, Doctors can give a treatment to a person if he/she is in a critical condition and they want to save the life of that person. In such cases it always involves major surgery. If a person is given insufficient information in order for him to make a sound decision, ethical issues arise that often leads to clinical trials. Although informed consent is always issued they are always complex to evaluate. A written document is not always appropriate to pass across an important message such as this compared to verbal negotiation.
An expression of understanding of implications does not mean that a person has fully digested the consequences (Appelbaum 189). Risk is a deviation from one event to another and the result can be either negative or positive. The outcome can also be expected or unexpected. Risk in health of a person can be reduced by actions that can primarily prevent early causes of illness. The actions follow after a person clearly measures clinical signs or recognizes symptoms that are risk factors. Preventions of further impacts of an established disease are done to restore and reduce the complications of this disease. Risks are always considered a two dimensional concept because the outcome result can be what a person expects or exactly the opposite. When a patient has signed the consent to show his agreement on the outcome of the medical procedure to be undertaken, he is prepared for two things. The medical procedure could be a brain surgery or amputation of one of the legs; the doctors are not always sure that the outcome will be positive. The reason as to why doctors allow themselves to proceed with the surgery is because there is a probability that the patient could benefit. On the other hand if the risk occurs the outcome can be catastrophic (Beauchamp 79).
Patients have always lost their lives during surgery and many more while undergoing other treatments. Whenever this occurs it is not blamed on the doctors but seen as if these doctors were trying to save the life of the patient. The probability of a risk occurring is always proportional to the magnitude of the risk itself. In a case of heart surgery, the two outcomes may either be a great success or death whereas if it is only an appendix removal, the risk is not that big and expectations of success are high. This concludes that when the magnitude of the harm is high the likelihood of a breakthrough is low. If there is a high magnitude of harm occurring and probability of a risk occurring is high then there is an increase of the risk itself (Appelbaum 249).
The risks that are associated with major surgeries are enormous. The medical field and researchers do not like to be blamed for anything though they are covered. They make sure that the patient has consent first unlike in emergency cases and the patient is unconscious. Patients always put themselves in great danger by signing the document but sometimes it is their only chance of survival. The outcomes have always been successful though dependent on the magnitude of the risk.