In health settings, nobody can guarantee positive consequences, but informed consent ensures that patients understand at least the risks involved in their therapy. It’s the law, too.
If patients accept treatment, they have to sign a patient informed consent that explains the risks and if necessary, doctors can take certain life-saving measures.
Ensuring a good understanding creates trust between the doctor and the patient. The risk for both patients and physicians is also reduced.
With good risk and optional communication, patients can make the best choices, and doctors are less vulnerable to legal action.
We will mention in this article some of the most important patient consent documents that should be present in the medical records of a patient, that would be much beneficial for patients and protective for healthcare providers in medicolegal settings.
Patient Consent to Conduct Clinical Researches and Studies
Some doctors or researchers may conduct some scientific researches on some patients to find the cause of a disease or test the effectiveness of some medicines or treatment procedures.
In such cases, informed consent is obtained from the patient to participate after explaining the nature of the research and the patient’s role in it.
The Declaration of Helsinki on the Ethics of Medical Research stated the following:
• The person must be informed about the aims and methods of the study in which he will participate, the expected benefit, and the potential harm or inconvenience of this study.
• The participant must be informed that he has the full right to stop participating at any time and to revoke the informed consent he signed.
• After that, the researcher or the doctor takes a signed informed consent of the patient or the person who wishes to participate in the study.
Patient Consent to Take photographs of the Patient
In some cases, the doctor may decide to take some photographs of the patient for documentation, studies, research, or training purposes.
Before taking these pictures, informed consent of the patient or his family must be obtained, and the purpose of these pictures must be specified.
Patient may agree to take some pictures of him in order to document the case with the doctor, but he may not agree if the photography is for the purpose of publishing in scientific journals.
Consent to the patient discharge for a short period or Against Medical Advice
The patient may be allowed to leave the hospital for special circumstances after obtaining the approval of the physician responsible for his case, and for a period that usually does not exceed 48 hours.
In this case, the patient or his representative fills out an application for permission to leave the hospital.
Patient hereby undertakes to return to the hospital on time, and if he is late for that, the hospital is considered not responsible for the negative consequences that may result from his health condition as a result.
This request shall be kept in the medical record after being signed by the responsible physician and the admission office official.
Authorization of Autopsy in Medical Records
Consent for Autopsy
After the death of the patient, it is not permissible to perform an autopsy of his corpse without the consent of the persons closest to him.
If doctors decide to perform an autopsy of the deceased for scientific or educational reasons, the informed consent of the people most related to the deceased must be obtained.
This delegation can take place on a separate form or it may be part of the general mandate form.
If the death resulted from an accident or injury (Coroner Case), the autopsy decision rests with the public prosecutor.
Most of the laws in the world stipulate that it is not permissible to bury the body of any person who dies as a result of an accident or injury except after examination by the public prosecutor and forensic doctor.