Consent, refusal of care, and shared decision-making for pediatric patients in emergency settings

Consent, refusal of care, and shared decision-making for pediatric patients in emergency settings
Morrison SN, Sigman L
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice, 2 May 2021, 18(5) pp 1-20
Abstract
Involving patients or their surrogate decision-makers in their care is an important element of modern medical practice. General consent, informed consent, treatment refusal, and shared decision-making are concepts that are used regularly but can be more complex in pediatric emergency settings. This issue summarizes these concepts and provides case examples that may be encountered. It explains the essential elements of informed consent, the distinction between the informed consent process and the document, how to approach treatment refusal, and approaches to involving patients and their surrogates in shared decision-making. Special circumstances include treatment for sexual and mental health conditions, emancipated minors, mature minors, and situations when custody is unclear. Implementation of these concepts can increase patient satisfaction, resolve conflict, and reduce risk.

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