Monday, January 7, 2008
You Must Demand TRUE Informed Consent
Before a doctor performs any medical procedure, surgery or test on you, you should be fully aware of what the procedure is, why it is being done, what information or result will be obtained, alternative treatments/tests, possible risks or complications, as well as the possibility of a second opinion. This is informed consent. If your care provider does not make you aware of this information, he or she is guilty of not obtaining your informed consent for the procedure. Many doctors, especially obstetricians, have found a sneaky way around having to inform you of your options: they give you a stack of papers to sign, and hidden in the very small print somewhere in the 15 pages is a blanket informed consent document covering anything and everything the doctor may want to do to you during your pregnancy, labor, and immediately postpartum. This is not informed consent. This is a cover-their-butt approach that allows the obstetrician to not be sued while being able to do anything he or she wants to you and your baby because, supposedly, you were informed and consented. It is the hope and purpose of this blog to help you understand that you have choices in your maternity care. It is your right and responsibility as a mother to question what is being done to you and your baby. It is your right and responsibility to see to the best interests of yourself and your child.