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Components of Consent

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Dr KK Aggarwal and Ms Ira Gupta    02 July 2018

A valid consent has three components, as follows:

  1. Disclosure: Provision of relevant information by the clinician and its comprehension by the patient.
  2. Capacity: The ability of the patient to understand the relevant information and to appreciate those consequences of his or her decision that might reasonably be foreseen.
  3. Voluntariness: Patient should make a decision on his or her own, freely, without force, coercion or manipulation.

Patients have the right to make decision regarding their care. The Disease Management Association of India (DMAI) and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) Patient Charter on rights & responsibilities of patients has given the right to information to patients. It states as follows:

“The information to be provided to patients are meant to be & in a language of the patient’s preference and in a manner that is effortless to understand.

  1. Patients and/ or their family members have the right to receive complete information on the medical problem, prescription, treatment & procedure details.
  2. A documented procedure for obtaining patient’s and / or their family’s informed consent exists to enable them to make an informed decision about their care. This process is an important patient right and needs to practiced with utmost diligence and transparency.
  3. Patients have to be educated on risks, benefits, expected treatment outcomes and possible complications to enable them to make informed decisions, and involve them in the care planning and delivery process.
  4. Patients have the right to request information on the names, dosages and adverse effects of the medication that they are treated with.
  5. Patients or their authorized individuals have the right to request access and receive a copy of their clinical records.
  6. Patients have the right to complete information on the expected cost of treatment. The information should be presented as an itemised structure of the various expenses and charges.
  7. Patients have the right to information on hospital rules and regulations.
  8. Information on organ donation.”

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