Taking a child to the hospital in a nerve- wracking experience for any parent no matter how minor the operation. When the operation to be performed is a life threatening or lifesaving operation, there is an added sense of fear within a parent and an added sense of responsibility on the doctor’s shoulders. This responsibility first and foremost is to save the life of the patient, but the doctor must also be aware, especially in the case of risky operation, of his legal responsibility. Among the doctor’s legal obligations in the case of operating on a minor is the issue of “informed consent.” We will explore this issue here. We are presented with a scenario where a patient, Sally is on the operating table and her doctor, Dr. Bob, knows he must operate on her immediately in order to save her life. Sally is 17 years old, therefore a minor, so Dr. Bob must talk to Sally’s parents in the waiting room to get their consent to begin an operation on Sally. This is where the issue of informed consent comes in. The difference between consent and informed consent is very important within the medical and legal field. The term consent simply refers to someone giving verbal and/or written permission to do the operation. If Dr. Bob just needed Sally’s parents’ consent then he would simply have to approach them and ask, “Can I operate on your daughter? If Sally’s parents say “yes” then consent has been given, but informed consent has not been given. Essay 2
In the case where Paula Patient asks Dr. Bob to send her information to her P.O. Box and call her only at work, Dr. Bob should do as she has asked. In regards to confidential communications, any patient may request alternate communication as long as they are reasonable requests. I believe that Paula Patient made a reasonable request. Telling Dr. Bob that she may be endangered if her boyfriend finds out is a very good reason to accommodate this...