STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Beware what the doctor asks you to sign: The terrifying stories of patients who have been misled or even had forms altered when they consent to surgery

Before you receive any treatment from a doctor, you’ll be asked to give consent. It may be a simple question ‘May I take your blood pressure?’, to which you might nod or show agreement by rolling up your sleeve. Or if it’s a more complex procedure involving a general anaesthetic, you’ll be asked to sign a form to show you know the full facts about what’s being planned. The only time we won’t be asked for our consent is when emergency treatment is needed or when a patient lacks the mental capacity to give consent.

The idea is that the patient shares the decision-making. You bring your own expertise to the table: your knowledge of how your health problem affects your daily life and what risks you’re prepared to take. At least that’s the theory. Yet two recent cases have shown that too often doctors aren’t obtaining proper informed consent for surgery, putting patients at risk of harm. When you sign a consent form, often just before surgery, there are two sections: one for the doctor to write down details of the procedure and another to include a list of any risks that the patient needs to know about. Once you’ve signed it, one of the two copies is meant to be given to you.

But that’s not what happened when Marlene Clarke, a retired bank sales manager from Derby, underwent surgery for suspected lung cancer. According to the consent form she signed in 2010, Mrs Clarke, now 69, was due to have a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3135084/Beware-doctor-asks-sign-terrifying-stories-patients-misled-forms-altered-consent-surgery.html

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Filed under: Hospital,

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