There are few concepts in medicine considered more fundamental than a doctor’s duty to alert patients to the potential hazards of a treatment, a concept known as informed consent.
Over 2000 people have come forward with information which shows that they were implanted with a medical device without being properly warned of the potential harm it might cause. Patients from 37 countries have added to the growing list of patients who said they were not given the right information before surgery.
“From New Zealand to England to Canada, the practice of informed consent around the world is dismal,” Hanifa Koya, a gynaecologist in New Zealand told us.
Physicians commonly require patients to sign forms acknowledging they understand risks of treatment. Yet, for meaningful patient consent, paperwork is only part of the equation, experts say. Equally important is a conversation between the patient and doctor in which the physician clearly explains a procedure’s risks.2_ 12-1_rev8_en.pdf