Philosophy in Health Care

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Philosophy 331 Section 1 1. Why is it important that consent to, or refusal of treatment be informed? What are the criteria of an informed consent or refusal? Give two reasons why it might be difficult to ensure that a consent or refusal is informed. It is important that consent or refusal in a medical and/or scientific context be informed for all patients and research subjects. The purpose of informed consent is to enable the participant to be actively involved in their care, participating in the decision making process with a full awareness of any potential consequences of a treatment or a treatments refusal. Modern informed consent laws place a heavy emphasis on the value of individual human rights and patient autonomy by insisting that informed consent be obtained for all medical procedures. In the event that someone is physically or mentally incapable of consent, such as in patients suffering from later stage Dementia’s, a representative may be permitted to authorize certain procedures. The criteria for informed consent or refusal as stated in Chapter 6 of Ethical & legal issues in Canadian Nursing are as follows: * Consent must be given voluntarily. * The patient must be told of all material risks inherent in a proposed procedure, together with its benefits and drawbacks, as well as the risks of forgoing the treatment. * The consent must be specific to the proposed treatment or procedure. For example, a consent to an appendectomy does not authorize the medical team to remove other infected or diseased tissues unrelated to that condition. * The consent must specify who will perform the procedure or treatment. If a patient has consented to its performance by a particular specialist, this would not authorize substitution of another, less qualified or different type of health care practitioner. * The patient must be legally capable. A

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