Ethics of Informed Consent

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?…..

New country, new school

As an international student in a new country, at a new school, I am finding it difficult to navigate the University of Limerick campus. At my home university, my classes are mainly in one building due to my major, here, taking many different classes, it’s challenging to walk from one end of the campus to the other in ten minutes, sometimes less.

More specifically, the main building on campus is extremely confusing to navigate due to the interesting names of the levels. Not only that, but also the hallways bring me around much further than I need to go. There have been multiple occasions over the past two weeks where I have walked into the wrong class right when the lecturer was beginning to give his lecture. How embarrassing! However, there is a positive side to the confusion. I get to see more of this beautiful campus. My schedule allows me to all three parts of campus, so I am fortunate for that.

This campus is very similar to my home school back in the States which gives me a little sense of home. I’m hoping by next week I will be able to navigate the campus without looking at a map on my phone.