Why We Have the Doctrine of Informed Consent
The doctrine of informed consent is essential as it upholds the legal and ethical perspective in the treatment. It helps in the protection of the patient’s interest by giving the patient the legal authority to make decisions that relate to the treatment. In addition, the doctrine underpins the medical practice in upholding the patient’s best interest. The doctrine is based on the treating physician obtaining informed approval. The approval goes beyond permission. It is a participative process, which allows the patient to get information on the medical process to be performed and the risks and hazards that may result from the treatment. Thus, it has sanitized the medical treatment and avoided the possible cases of negligence. In litigation processes, the doctrine has been applied to determine the cases.
If the doctrine did not exist, the patients would be limited in the decisions they make in relation to medical procedures. The absence of the doctrine could lead to patients undergoing treatments that are not necessary. There will be no liability to care, as the doctors will not be legally bound. The patient’s self-determination principle and the principle of respect for persons would be open to abuse. In addition, litigations that relate to doctors’ negligence will be difficult to execute, as there would be no duty imposed on the physicians. The absence of the doctrine will negate the fundamental principle that every rational adult has the right to choose. For instance, to choose the physician who performs an operation and the right to decide what should be carried on his/her patient.