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Informed Consent

'Informed Consent' is a legal phrase that is meant to suggest that the voluntary consent given by an individual about a certain issue is validated against specific minimum standards. The legal importance of this phrase becomes null if there is no issue of fraud.

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informed consent
 

An individual is said to be able to express their 'informed consent' only if they are in a position to clearly appreciate and understand all inclusive facts, their implications and probable future consequences of their actions in support or in opposition of an issue.

An individual can offer their 'informed consent' only if they possess required reasoning faculties and all related facts while they are about to offer their consent. If an individual is underage or if they are facing impairment to reasoning ability because of any reason such as severe mental illness or retardation, intellectual and emotional immaturity, stressful conditions such as PTSD, intoxication, Alzheimer's illness, or if they are in coma, then they are simply not in a position to offer 'informed consent.'

In absence of 'informed consent' some actions cannot be legally validated. If a person is unable to offer their 'informed consent,' another person is often offered the authority to give consent on behalf of that person. In case of children, parents or legal guardians hold the authority to give informed consent while in case of mentally ill person; the care providers for that person hold that responsibility or right.

In some cases, such as a medical emergency, doctors hold the right to decide about the treatment to be given to a severely injured person who is admitted in a hospital after a major accident in unconscious state while there is no one available on his behalf to offer an 'informed consent'. The doctors in such case are allowed to take any necessary life saving measures including major operations even amputation.

In absence of sufficient information for an individual to make a proper 'informed consent,' critical ethical issues may erupt. Often organizations and hospitals create ethics committee or Institutional Review Board to make sure that all individuals involving in a clinical trial for a medical research or similar cases are in position to make an informed consent.

The importance of informed consent is discussed in cases of medical malpractice. Doctors and medical practitioners are required to offer all relevant information about a medical act or operation along with all probable consequences in advance before operating an individual. If the individual makes a informed consent, then only doctors are allowed to operate. In absence of situations and sufficient information for patient to make an informed consent, doctors and practitioners can be charged of professional negligence or breach of duty of care.

Informed consent is also important in some cases of sexual acts such as planned rape fantasies. One major debatable issue regarding informed consent is whether a person can withdraw their informed consent to have sex during the sexual act at any time. While informed consent is legally necessary before the initiation of a sexual intercourse, if a person decides to withdraw their consent during the sexual act, then other person can be charged for rape or sexual assault.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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