According to West's Encyclopedia of American Law, the definition of informed consent is "consent by a patient to a surgical or medical procedure or participation in a clinical study after achieving an understanding of the relevant medical facts and the risks involved” (Fallon L.F.Jr, 2010, p. 1). Basically, this is a form stating that the physician has explained, in words that the patient can understand, the details of the treatment or procedure that is being proposed, including the benefits the risks, as well as alternatives. Second, the physician needs to decide if the patient understood what was said and that they accept the potential risks of the procedure. The last part of the informed consent procedures is the
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First her surgery was to be performed on one eye and the consent clearly stated it was for both eyes. The consent must be accurate for the actual procedure the patient discussed with the physician. According to the Encyclopedia of Surgery when discussing informed consent, "By law, the physician who will perform the procedure must explain the risks and benefits of the surgery along with other treatment options. The nurse is often the person who actually witnesses the patient's signature on the consent for" (Wojahn A, 2009, p. 1). While even though nurses do many times witness the signature of the patient to the consent form, once an error was identified on the consent form a new one should have been prepared and the physician notified. The practical nurse, explaining the procedure, and asking for Mrs. Sparza's signature did not possess the knowledge necessary to answer her questions and therefore should not have been the individual seeking her signature. Some facilities do not allow a member of the operating team to witness the informed consent form this would have disqualified her as well. At this point, the physician should have been notified.
Second, Mrs. Sparza had been given a muscle relaxant medication prior to asking for her signature on the consent form Because of the side effects of pre-operative medications like muscle relaxants, she would lack the capacity to give informed consent. She no longer had the clear thinking and judgment necessary to decide whether