You should know what we know
At its core, informed consent recognizes that there is no single-best way to treat many of the illnesses from which humans and pets suffer. Everyone has a different approach to health care and a different comfort level with risk and medical procedures. In some instances, particularly in veterinary medicine, but more and more in human medicine as well, there are budgetary considerations that need to be addressed. So, an informed consent discussion should include:
- The diagnosis if known
- The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure
- The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure
- Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance)
- The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure
- The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure
It is essential that the patient, or in the case of veterinary medicine, the patient’s owner, have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure. In this way, an informed decision on whether or not to proceed or refuse a particular course of medical intervention can be obtained.
At Veremedy, we do not proceed with a medical intervention until we are sure everyone is in agreement on the treatment plan, the treatment costs, and the likely treatment outcome.