The Necessity of Informed Consent
With every passing day the medical fraternity across the world is making new advances in the fight against a number of diseases. In recent years a number of new speciality medicines burst onto the market, claiming relieve for certain painful, degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or the healing of other life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Before these medicines may be administered or even registered by the various councils like the Food & Drug Administration in America or the Medical Control Council in South Africa, thorough clinical trials with humans must take place. Many people who suffer from these diseases would do anything to find relief and it here where informed consent plays an important role.
The patient undergoing the treatment must be made aware of all risks associated with the treatment. If they are happy with the information they have received they will give their informed consent for the treatment to go ahead.
Informed consent not only plays a role in medical trials, but in all cases where a patient needs to undergo treatment, conservative or radical. A health care professional must inform the patient of all the risks involved with the treatment and give the patient the opportunity to assess the risks to their personal lives and decide whether to undergo the treatment. In many cases, should a patient refuse the treatment, they would need to sign a declaration that states this. This is to protect the health care professional should the patient's health status deteriorate as a result on the non-treatment.
At Adele van der Walt Attorneys we deal with many cases where the patient was not given the opportunity to give their informed consent, with grave consequences. If you believe you have not been given the opportunity to give your informed consent for treatment for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, you can contact us and we will assess your case. If your health care professional is found to be at fault, he or she can be fined, license can be suspended or scrapped from the role and prohibited from practising medicine for a certain period of time.
For more information on this subject, please give us a call at 012 460 3668 (SA) or e-mail us at email@example.com