“It’s an Emergency” Is Not Enough Information for Informed Consent

April 13, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Even in an emergency situation, providers must offer enough information to allow patients and families to give informed consent, said a first-person account by a long-time employee of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the April 2016 issue of Health Affairs. The author's father experienced complications after surgery to trim his prostate, and began having trouble speaking two days after the procedure. A stroke team rushed the patient to receive tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), without first receiving consent from the author, who was her father's healthcare proxy. After the author protested, a resident asked her to follow them so he could explain the situation. When the author asked the resident whether there were any other indications of stroke aside from her father's speech issues, the resident said no.

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