Legal Aspect of Health Care

Topics: Informed consent, Decision making, Medical ethics Pages: 4 (1306 words) Published: January 2, 2011


Module 5 Case Assignment

BHM 443

Legal Aspect of Health Care

Dr. Afshin Afrookhteh

18 Jan 2010

Consent/ End of Life
The main goal is always to provide the best healthcare possible to a patient given the physical state they are in. There weren’t any expectations of miracles or extraordinary risk to bear but thankfulness to the doctor for doing his very best. Even if the result was death, the thoughts were that the doctor did all he could by making the patient better and for most, the goal was always to prevent demise. Our time’s have changed so has the preponderance of this paternalistic belief regarding the decision made concerning a persons care. Has a deterioration of trust in the provider tighten the reigns of control and switched the power to the hands of the consumer?

Whatever the underlying cause may be, there has been an enormous shift in legislation since the days of old where its modifications are now holding physicians to an elevated level of responsibility when it comes to the degree of communication anticipated by the modern patient. This “general principle of law” that charges the physician with the obligation of divulging the risks linked to a recommended sequence of care will enable the patient to take consideration of their own welfare when choosing to undergo treatment, selecting a substitution or foregoing care and is known as Informed Consent (Dabbagh, 1999). To put it simply, informed consent allows the patient to be trained in the details of their condition, purpose of treatment, dangers and alternatives to come to a more knowledgeable resolution. There are four elements of informed consent that signify sufficient admonition: •Adequate disclosure of information.

Patient’s comprehension of information.
Patient’s freedom of choice.
Patient’s capacity for decision making (Ascension Health, 2007). The following are also some elements that a plaintiff must make evident in a court of law to...

References: 1. Ascension Health (2007). Healthcare Ethics: Principles of Informed Consent. Retrieved on January 18, 2010 from
2. Benak, L. D. and Applegate, S. (2006). Informed Consent and Issues Surrounding Lack of Capacity vs. Incompetence. Journal of Forensic Nursing 2 (1), pg. 48. Retrieved on 17 Aug 2009, from Proquest.
3. Dabbagh, N. (1999). Informed Consent Case Study. Retrieved on January 18, 2010 from
4. Ersek, M. et al (2003). Providing Opioids at the End of Life. Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Retrieved on January 18, 2010 from
5. Ferguson, P. (December 1997). Causing death or allowing to die? Developments in the law. Journal of Medical Ethics 23 (6), 368. Retrieved on 17 Aug 2009, from Proquest.
6. Salladay, S. A. (August 2000). Grandmother 's plea. Nursing 30 (8), 66. Retrieved on 17 Aug 2009, from Proquest.
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