Purpose of Informed Consent

Informed consent is a process between the provider and patient that relates to a specific medication or form of treatment and not just controlled substances (Bolen, 2008). While some state regulations require that the informed consent process be documented, providers should be aware that there is more involved than getting a patient's signature. In order to provide a complete understanding of what to expect from his or her future treatment, a patient may need to spend additional time with a provider. Informed consent, if properly executed, helps a patient to better understand:

  • Goals/purpose of treatment (Chou, et al, 2009)
  • Potential benefits including the realistic outcomes of treatment (Bolen, 2008)
  • Risks of treatment including possible side effects, abuse potential, and risk for addiction (Chou, et al, 2009)
  • Unique instructions or precautions for the specific medication he or she will be taking (Bolen, 2008)
  • Alternative treatment options (Bolen, 2008)

 

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Bolen J. What is the difference between informed consent and treatment agreements?. Emerging Solutions in Pain. 2008. Available at: http://emergingsolutionsinpain.com/ Accessed on: 2009-06-01.