Legal review of the civil, criminal, and administrative consequences of informed consent violation in medical practice

Legal review of the civil, criminal, and administrative consequences of informed consent violation in medical practice
Vallejo-Jiménez, Geovana A.a; Nanclares-Márquez, Julianab
Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology, April-June 2019; 47(2) pp 107–112
Abstract
Introduction
The informed consent (IC) ensures respect of the patient’s rights to information, freedom, and autonomy. However, when the physician neglects the obligation to inform, legal consequences may follow, including the award of damages or even imprisonment.
Objective
To analyze the legal implications for a medical practitioner who fails to obtain the patient’s IC.
Methodology
Based on the relevant jurisprudence and legal decisions. With regards to the former, the decisions and legal precedents of the Colombian High Courts with regards to IC and medical practice were studied, emphasizing the rulings of the State Council and the Supreme Court of Justice (civil and penal chambers). With regards to the legal decisions, the analysis enabled the review, systematization and interpretation of the discussions generated around the topic of interest, pursuant to the doctrine or research on civil administrative, and criminal law.
Results
There is consensus in the Colombian jurisprudence about the liability of the healthcare professional and of the state when the IC or any of its component parts is missing in the doctor–patient relationship. Nevertheless, there are different standpoints, particularly in the criminal arena, where a lack of unanimity exists with regards to this issue.
Conclusion
Any violation of the IC or the lack of an IC, could give rise to the practitioner’s civil liability and disciplinary actions, in addition to the administrative liability of the State, but there should be no criminal liability for the physician.

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