Informed Consent in the Health Care System: An Overview from a Dental Perspective in Saudi Arabia

Informed Consent in the Health Care System: An Overview from a Dental Perspective in Saudi Arabia
Review Article
Nassar A.A., Demyati A.K.
Saudi Journal of Health Systems Research, March 2021; 1 pp 11–15
Open Access
Abstract
Background
Patient autonomy in the health care system is achieved by the vital principle of providing informed consent. Throughout history, informed consent gained recognition and improved to include more aids and steps to formalize and standardize the process of obtaining proper consent in medical and dental practice. Regardless of the type of informed consent obtained before the treatment, it should include an adequate understandable description of nature and diagnosis of the disease, treatment plan, proper alternatives, risks, and limitations.
Summary
There is limited information in the ethics literature covering critical concepts related to different dental procedures in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, informed consent in dentistry is not well-documented. As everything is evolving and changing in Saudi society, litigation has progressed and impacted dentistry. This overview will help in addressing aspects related to informed consent and closing the gaps in the dental health care system in Saudi Arabia, managing complex ethical issues associated with dental patients. In addition, providing recommendations and shedding some light on the importance of informed consent will improve the situation of the informed consent process in Saudi Arabia.
Key Messages
Informed consent allows patients to be part of the decision-making process, and it provides legal protection for the practitioners from practice lawsuit cases. Dentists should take extra care in documenting the consent process and patient’s choice regarding their treatment to avoid unfavorable consequences. In Saudi Arabia, attention should be drawn toward the crucial role of informed consent, and more studies should be published in order to enrich the knowledge and to improve the health care system.

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