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Informed Consent

  • A mentally competent adult client must give his/her own consent; parents or legal guardians may give consent for minors.

  • Clients need to understand:

    1. Purpose of the procedure

    2. Any reasonable alternatives

    3. Risks, consequences, and benefits of the procedure and the alternative(s)

    4. Risks and consequences if the treatment is refused

  • The physician caregiver has the legal obligation of obtaining a client's informed consent to medical/surgical treatment.

  • The nurse may be assigned the task of obtaining and witnessing the clients signature.

  • The nurse who is concerned about the validity of an informed consent has a legal obligation of telling the physician and the nursing supervisor about the concern.