An article recently published by the Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants suggests there are three types of consent that a medical professional should request prior to performing a test or medical procedure on a patient. Among these three types are general, limited and informed consent.
When it comes to general consent, on a very primitive basis, it simply gives the medical provider a right to place his or her hands on the patient. This type of consent can either be explicitly provided or implied. The former may be secured by having the patient sign a document that gives the medical provider permission to treat.
In contrast, implied consent is much more easily procured. A patient that presents him or herself as having an earache, for example, may be asked to turn his or her head so the doctor can look inside the patient's ear. Once the patient turns his or her head, it's understood in the medical community that they've given implied consent.
As far as limited consent is concerned, it as seen as defining the liberties that medical provider enjoys in treating a patient. It may restrict who is allowed to place their hands on the individual. For example, in some cases, a patient may only allow a particular surgeon to perform a procedure on him or her unless an emergency arises that necessitates another's help.
In other cases, a patient may only consent to being treated using a particular drug. If he or she does, then the doctor would be required to have the patient sign an additional consent form to treat with a different drug.
When it comes to informed consent, it's common for a doctor to have a patient provide his or her permission of this type when he or she is preparing to undergo either a procedure or treatment that carries risks. In a case such as this, the onus falls on the doctor to properly inform the patient of the different benefits and risks that are associated with both the treatment he or she is about to undergo as well as alternatives to them.
They must also address what happens if the condition is not treated. In some cases, they're required to address what could potentially happen if the treatment is discontinued before it's completed as well.
If you suspect you were injured as a result of doctor error, then a Tucson medical malpractice attorney may be able to help.
Source: Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants, "What every physician and PA needs to know about consent," Timothy Miller, accessed July 05, 2017