My son is having surgery in a few weeks. The nurses have given us pamphlets and educational materials to learn more about it, in preparation for something called "informed consent." What does this mean?
Informed consent is a legal term. It means that you are fully aware of the facts of a certain situation (in this case, a surgical procedure) before agreeing to it. In order to obtain informed consent, your doctor will discuss certain things with you:
During the discussion, you will have a chance to ask questions. Asking questions is your right and responsibility — remember, there's no such thing as a silly question. You'll be asked to sign a written consent form before the surgery is performed. 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 may not be available to give consent for a treatment or procedure for a young child — for example, in the case of an unconscious patient who comes into the emergency room. In these cases, doctors will operate using the principle of "presumed"or "implied"consent, using their professional judgment to do what is best for the child.
Reviewed by: Charles D. Vinocur, MD
Date reviewed: May 2012
|American Medical Association (AMA) The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association|
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American College of Surgeons The website of the American College of Surgeons provides consumer information about common surgeries such as appendectomy.|
|Who's Who in the Hospital 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.|
|Preparing Your Child for Surgery 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.|
|Anesthesia Basics Knowing the basics of anesthesia may help answer your questions and ease some concerns — both yours and your child's.|
|Finding Your Way in the Health Care System It can be stressful when your child needs medical attention, and more so when you're worried about where to get that care and how much it will cost. Here are some basics on managing the health care system.|
|Talking to Your Child's Doctor Building a relationship with your child's doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.