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Health Information For Parents
My son is having surgery in a few weeks. The nurses gave us educational materials to learn more about it, in preparation for something called “informed consent.” What does this mean? – Ned
Informed consent is a legal term. It means that you are fully aware of the facts of a situation (in this case, a surgical procedure) before agreeing to it. Other situations that need informed consent include blood transfusions, anesthesia, and vaccines.
To get your informed consent, the doctor will discuss with you things such as:
It is the doctor’s responsibility to make sure you understand the medical problem and treatment. During the discussion, you can ask questions. This is your right and responsibility — and there’s no such thing as a silly question. You’ll be asked to sign a written consent form before the surgery. If you can’t be there to sign the form, you’ll be contacted by phone to give your consent.
In rare emergencies, a parent might be unavailable to give consent for a treatment for a young child — for example, if an unconscious patient comes into the ER. Then, doctors apply the principle of “presumed”or “implied” consent, using their professional judgment to do what is best for the child.
Parents are likely to be stressed when a child is hospitalized, and questions about the people providing medical care and what roles they play can add to the confusion. Our guide can help.
Building a relationship with your child’s doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.
Good preparation can help your child feel less anxious about getting surgery. Kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why.
Knowing the basics of anesthesia may help answer your questions and ease some concerns â both yours and your child’s.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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