Naomi fischerMount Sinai Beth Israel, Israel
Title: Complexities of Consent
Informed consent is a communicative process of sharing information with patients, which helps assure their understanding of the information provided and asks for their permission to proceed. Informed consent allows a patient or a patient’s family to use their own value system to determine the need for a particular procedure or test. Asking the patient for permission to treat requires the provider to respect the patient’s autonomy through allowing them to be an active part of the decision making process. Consent in pediatrics can be a complex process. Parental consent is generally required for medical evaluation and treatment of pediatric patients, yet there are some exceptions to the rule. If the provider determines that a parent’s refusal of consent places the child at risk of harm, then consent is not necessary. Finally, adolesents are often deeply concerned about privacy - their acceptance of appropriate care is often based on this promise of confidentiality. Adolescents can therefore be treated for issues relating to reproductive care without parental consent. It is important for the pediatric provider to understand the rules surrounding the care of pediatric patients to avoid compromising their privacy and ultimately their well being and medical care.