Essay on relationship between doctor and patien

The commitment to investigate and issue therapy is referred to as the cornerstone in a doctor-patient relationship. Flanagin (2009) defines consent as ""permission for something to happen or agreement to do something." According to the definition, there is no involvement of any awareness of the agreed-upon activity, whereas the term ""informed consent"" for medical reasons means ""permission has been provided in full knowledge of potential repercussions"". According to the General Medical Council (GMC), it is preferable to be able to grasp and appraise information, as well as communicate, in order to provide informed consent. An ethical everyday nursing dilemma that I have dealt with in my nursing career would be that of informed consent. I have had many instances where I do not believe that the patient was ready or competent enough to sign his or her consent and the surgeon would have blown a gasket if I disagreed with witnessing the consent. There was an instance a week ago where a patient fractured her bone and was in such severe pain she had gotten heavily medicated. The surgeon came in that morning and went through the information about the operation she was going to perform. I knew at this point she was responsive but entirely out of it. She later would not recall the events that took place that very day. I should have spoken up for her even though I knew that should not have the surgery. Things like this happen every day.

An informed consent procedure is a convenient application to mutual decision making between a patient and his surgeon. Moreover, nurses as they are patient's advocates, have been trusted to fully understand the ethical and legal factors of the informed consent process. In professional nursing practice, ethical practices are cornerstones to the informed consent. However, before surgery, surgeons are the ones who have the ultimate responsibility for the informed consent. For the benefit of patient surgeons and knowledgeable nurses come together and have an eventual completion of the informed consent. This paper will review questions to if the right to informed consent stands unconditionally by means observing philosophical, legal, and ethical principles causing permission.

Patients have the right to independence and respect should always be given to them and steps to be taken for consent to be accurately informed. However, absolute right is narrowed down on basis of ethical, philosophical, practical, and legal factors.

In medical ethics, there are four principles justice, autonomy, non-maleficence, and beneficence. When we consider the underlying consent autonomy appears to be the primary ethical principle the doctor should respect Patient's determination on what to be investigated and treatment to go through with. Patients rely on doctor's information for consents to be informed. For the process to be valid faithfulness and honesty is vital. Deciding to offer treatment or withhold treatment to the patients indeed leads to the application of ethical principles. Informed consent process is touched by this and is explored more when discussion of specified treatment is demanded.

Philosophical aspects

The discussion of whether principle or right is absolute not only involves the legal and ethical features. It also includes the rational argument of absoluteness. Taking the example of freedom, it cannot exist as a supreme principle because giving one person freedom will disregard another person's freedom significantly. Freedom of person A to take any good will have an impact on person B's freedom to get a property. In autonomy when these principles are applied the same problems appear. The total independence of one person will have adverse effects on another person. A fair way of living is brought about by the modern democratic society by the designed laws and rules. Hence, this will restrict autonomy, this same restricted independence, on the other hand, assures the equal amount of it to all members of society. In the philosophical basis autonomy principle for the informed consent contradicts itself in its application to the community. Autonomy is the governing principle of ethical law in informed consent there is no existence of absolute right to consent.

Legal framework

The surgeon can be charged with battery if he conducts a medical procedure without an informed legal consent. Example, if the will of the patient is gone against by a doctor, and uses a treatment that is dissimilar from the one the patient agreed upon and gives treatment knowingly with wrong information. The regulatory body (GMC) has set up guidance for consent. For a capable adult, they cannot consent for UK laws are adapting consents patients with permanent incapacity, minors, and patients who are suffering from mental illness.

For any investigation or treatment to take place, informed consent is required to be presented to a patient. Benefits, procedure, and dangers are primary bases of informed consent. Autonomy as a central ethical principle I maintain my stand that when it comes to consent absolute right is very minimal. It is a contradiction to consent and autonomy on a philosophical basis to an absolute right. In the UK quite a few restrictions on right to consent are established via the legal body. Statuary instrument that is mainly concerned is mental capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and Public Health Act. For minors, patients with mental illness, and patients with incapacity, and patients who have diseases that are infectious the right to consent is regulated by UK law. In exceptional cases, their consents are not granted, or restrictions are put to the right to consent. It is mandatory that infectious diseases cases have a disclosure to information with no consent. When it is expected for a patient to have inability they can put in place directives for future treatment when the level of competence is still good and also an LPA can be granted the right to make a decision of treatment on behalf of a patient. Having a look at the aspects that are practical to consent, it is evident that information given is frequently badly understood. With the lack in being informed patients are giving permission. For that reason, it means that informed consent cannot be issued for the absence of proper understanding. It is challenging to provide an absolute right to consent in practice if efforts to provide information that is vital for informed consent regularly fails. In short, the right to patient's autonomy must be respected and action is taken to ensure consent is indeed informed. However, on the basis of legal, philosophical, practical, and ethical consideration right to absolute consent is not valid.


Davis, J. K. (2004). Precedent Autonomy and Subsequent Consent. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice,7(3), 267-291. doi:10.1023/b:etta.0000042908.13784.00

Farrimond, H. (2013). Informed Consent. Doing Ethical Research, 109-125. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-29553-8_8

Flanagin, A. (2009). Ethical Review of Studies and Informed Consent. AMA Manual of Style. doi:10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.210

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