Ethical Issues Facing Healthcare
Nurse’s face challenges in relation to informed consent on a daily; this is a very sensitive subject because it can have legal and ethical issues surrounding it. The purpose of informed consent is to make sure that the physician or nurse practitioner adequately explains the procedure or treatment and the patient comprehends the information (Roberson, 2007). In addition there are many complexities to informed consent including the rights of the vulnerable, dependent, and cognitively impaired. Ultimately the patient has the right to chose what happens to his or her own body, and be protected from harm.
Informed consent effects all populations including making sure that the correct person responsible for the individual signs the consent is equally important. According to state law only competent adults can give or refuse consent (Guido, 2006). That being said minors, incompetent adults, cognitively impaired, and the vulnerable patient must have a legal guardian or representative sign his or her consent. The only exception to this rule is in an emergency situation, therapeutic privilege, patient waver, and prior patient knowledge.
Every day patients put the trust in nurses and physicians hands that her or she will receive the best care and will be informed completely of all implications and future consequences that may occur. The problem in health care today is that is a business with an assembly line, less time is spent with the patient. This gives the patient fewer opportunities to ask questions, nurses less time to be a patient advocate and more risk to cause harm. One of the biggest issues in the surgery arena is patients are pre-medicated and by time the nurse arrives to interview the patient and discuss their consent they are impaired. I understand that the consent was already signed and witnessed, but time and time again I deal with patients that truly do not... [continues]
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