The Obstacles of Valid Informed Consent
Authors: Andi Indahwaty Sidin
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Informed consent refers to the process of giving information, discussing and obtaining permission of patients or participants in terms of medical treatment and human research. Informed consent is the most important right for the patient. However making standardization of valid informed consent is likely to be difficult due to a number of obstacles. On the other hand, courts may require valid informed consent to hold litigation. For this reason, this paper intends to discuss the difficulties in obtaining valid informed consent which is divided into five main elements: disclosure of information, understanding, voluntariness, competence, and consent. This paper will focus on particular situations: emergency cases, critically ill, psychiatric patients, child patients, and human research. This literature review is developed from examining in depth some references such as journal and text book. Chosen references reviewed are study of informed consent particularly in emergency cases, critically ill, psychiatric patients, child patients and human research. The main theory is from Beauchamp, the author of Principle Bioethics. After reviewing this literature it is found that, employing the four aspects of informed consent is likely to be complicated. This may be caused by the condition of patients and participants. People have to deal with some ambiguities of the four aspects of informed consent. There is likely to be conflict between promoting autonomy and the principle of beneficence. Furthermore, the valid informed consent may not be obtained. Therefore, courts have to consider informed consent as a part of legal doctrine for those circumstances. Nonetheless, physicians and researchers have to be aware of the importance of informed consent to grant patients and participants’ autonomy and to respect human rights. Informed consent may be seen as part of ethical issues rather than law.