Patients’ informed consent to medical services in Georgia

Patients’ informed consent to medical services in Georgia
Research Article
Tengiz Verulava, Revaz Jorbenadze, Vakhtang Surguladze
Medico-Legal Journal, 3 October 2019 
Informed consent requires that a patient understands the purpose, benefits and potential risks of a medical or surgical intervention and then agrees to it. It is important not only ethically and legally but for the effectiveness of care. Studies show that, in some cases, patients have no real information on the medical service to be provided so their informed consent is just a formality. This study aims to determine problems arising from a patient’s informed consent. As part of a cross-sectional study, surgical patients were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. 34% of patients (n = 68) did not know what the surgical intervention was; 57% (n = 114) received sufficient information on their diagnosis and methods of treatment; however, 26% (n = 52) agreed with it only partially; 62% (n = 124) of patients knew they needed surgery; 66% (n = 132) were adequately informed on risks and benefits of alternative ways of treatment; 58% (n = 116) were informed of potential risks during surgery. The study demonstrated patients need to be better informed about different treatment options, consequences of treatment refusal. Doctors have to provide information to patients in a manner understandable to them. Medical personnel need to be educated as to what constitutes informed consent and the importance of adhering to such requirements.

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