This semester, I am taking a module that teaches us about ethics in health care. As a future health care professional, ethics is a huge part of my job. This week in class we discussed informed consent. Informed consent is interesting to me because there is a large amount of variability when talking about this.
To me, informed consent is one of many important factors when deciding the best treatment for a patient. I agree that the patient deserves to know everything that is going on. Throughout the lecture, we discussed how it is our responsibility, as medical professionals, to know what is in the best interest for the patient. We have a responsibility to tell the patient everything we know so that they can make an informed decision regarding how treatment will proceed.
Why is that so hard?
The conflict comes when the patient is not in the right state of mind. What happens if that person is unable to make that decision? Then who makes that decision? There is no right or wrong answer. When I heard this, I couldn’t believe it, to think that maybe what the patient wants isn’t always what is best, and we can’t always do what they say.
The key to solving ethical issues like this is to remember to keep the best interest of the patient in mind. This might mean going against the family’s issues which led me to conclude that medicine altogether could become a conflicting career path. So, what do we do?…..