Informed consent allows a fully informed patient to participate in choices about his or her healthcare. A patient has the legal right to direct what happens to his or her body, and the doctor’s role is to outline the choices, as well as the known risks and consequences of each action or inaction.
It is considered a standard of practice in all surgical specialties for the patient to sign an “informed consent form” prior to any procedure. This form will indicate the procedure to be performed, that the patient’s consent is voluntary, and that the doctor has described all known risks associated with the procedure. For patients under the age of eighteen, a parent or guardian is required to consent to the procedure and sign the informed consent form. The informed consent form becomes part of the patient’s legal patient record.