What is Informed Consent?

Doctor sitting at a table talking to a man.

What is informed consent?

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The physician who will perform the procedure explains the procedure in a way that is understandable to the person receiving the information, who is deemed a reasonable individual capable of making medical decisions.

The physician is expected to explain the procedure, alternative measures that could be taken, and all significant risks for the procedure. A nurse is only permitted to obtain the signature after the physician has obtained informed consent for the procedure.

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It is important that you receive and understand this information prior to giving consent.

Before providing consent:

If you are consenting to a procedure that has a risk of something occurring that would require court approval, then that procedure will also require court approval.


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The physician recommends the individual have a procedure called endometrial ablation. The physician explains that a tool is inserted through the vagina to destroy the endometrium (lining of the uterus). It is being done due to the individual having very heavy menstrual periods resulting in low blood counts and anemia. The procedure doesn’t take long. The patient is monitored for a few hours afterward and then discharged home. There may be cramping and minimal bleeding. 

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Risks include infection, tearing of the uterine wall, and damage to surrounding organs. 

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There is a risk that this procedure can lead to infertility or difficulty maintaining a pregnancy. You know that sterilization requires court approval. Sterilization is surgery to make a person unable to produce offspring. This procedure can lead to sterilization and would need to have court approval prior to consent being given. 

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