The Function of The Medical Consent Form

As medical advances make it possible to prolong patients’ lives, the medical consent form takes on an ever-widening number of uses. Of course, it continues to fulfill its primary function.

Principle function of the medical consent form:

It provides a patient with the ability to deny or agree to the performance of an invasive test, or to a surgical procedure. The physician must explain the known risks when presenting the form to the patient.

A doctor’s willingness to provide trusted care depends on that physician’s readiness to seek the patient’s consent, before attempting any invasive procedure. A doctor that fails to provide patients with access to the formal means for giving their consent risks becoming the target of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Acts that accompany the form’s presentation:

A physician’s presentation of the medical consent form should follow a detailed explanation of the invasive procedure for which consent must be granted. A physician could use that same period of time for lengthening the discussion with the patient. For example, a doctor that has been the target of some disciplinary action from the medical board could alert a patient to that fact.

Indeed, there is at least one state in which doctors are now obligated to divulge that sort of information. The law that includes that obligation makes no mention of when doctors ought to share such noteworthy information with patients. Yet the period that coincides with a form’s presentation does seem like the right time for divulging those necessary facts.

Times when there is no need for a medical consent form:

A physician that must perform an emergency procedure does not need to get the patient’s consent. Still, doctors know better than patients what procedures must be done immediately. Indeed, a doctor could suggest that a certain situation constitutes an emergency, in an effort to push a family member to agree to an invasive test or treatment.

When a patient has shown that he or she is emotionally fragile, that same fragile person has freed a physician of the need to use a medical consent form. Yet there is a stipulation that goes with that exception to the demand for a patient’s consent. That stipulation concerns a case in which a fragile patient has awarded a power of attorney to a family member.

In that case, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Lindsay knows that the person with the power of attorney can refuse to allow a procedure, even if a doctor has requested it. Of course, that same family member must live with the consequences, if the denied procedure might have saved a loved one’s life. By the same token, the person that had used his or her power of attorney could become the target of a decidedly annoyed physician.