Consent in gastrointestinal endoscopy: valid, informed and nurse-led

Consent in gastrointestinal endoscopy: valid, informed and nurse-led
Christine Metcalf
Gastrointestinal Nursing, 19 Jun 2019; 17(5)
Abstract
Gastrointestinal endoscopy is generally safe, but these diagnostic and therapeutic interventions come with potential risks and thus require written, valid and informed consent, except in emergencies. Informed consent requires patients to receive and discuss information on the benefits, risks and nature of the procedure, as well as any alternatives. To consent, a patient must have the mental capacity to understand the information and use it to make and communicate a decision. Consent is a multi-stage procedure, beginning when endoscopy is first proposed and continuing into the intervention, as patients can withdraw consent during the procedure, whether sedated or not. For high-volume, low-risk procedures, the consent process can be safely delegated to qualified endoscopy nurses, with sufficient and relevant training, knowledge and support from the trust. Nurses competencies and other elements of the consent process should be regularly audited.

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