The Standard of Disclosure in Informed Consent Decision Making in Medical Practice in Malaysia

The Standard of Disclosure in Informed Consent Decision Making in Medical Practice in Malaysia
Ambikai S Thuraisingam
Asian Journal of Law and Governance, 10 August 2020; 2(1) pp 1-14
This is a conceptual paper to analyse the standard of disclosure in informed consent decision making in the medical practice in Malaysia. This study reviews literature on the history of the standard applied in the informed consent requirement among patients and its consequences in healthcare practice. It aims to evaluate the crucial elements of patient centricness particularly the factors that affect the voluntariness and competency of the patient in giving consent. This paper reviews the existing literature surrounding the phenomenon of giving consent for medical treatment in the healthcare, particularly on how the concept of shared decision making affects the consent requirement. This study provides an overview of the perplexing nature of disclosure in shared decision making and the various concerns that have surrounded the topic leading to its recognition. Hence in Malaysia, there is no specific law which governs the provisions for shared decision making in informed consent in the healthcare practice. This study aims to explore the Malaysian Medical Council Guideline on Consent for Treatment of Patients by Registered Medical Practitioner (MMC Guideline on Consent) and the current Malaysian laws to determine whether they are sufficient to address the principle of shared decision making requirement patients. The study reviews the existing case laws and literature on the historical development of the elements of shared decision making, subsequently, the findings of the perusal of the MMC Guideline on Consent and the current statutory laws are presented and discussed. Finally, lack of empirical evidence is recognised in this paper and several suggestions are made for future research and recommendation for enactment of a new law pertaining to shared decision making in informed consent to medical treatment.

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