Doctors’ knowledge regarding decision-making capacity: A survey of anesthesiologists

Doctors’ knowledge regarding decision-making capacity: A survey of anesthesiologists|
Research Article
Alastair Moodley, Ames Dhai
Clinical Ethics, 6 December 2021
Abstract
Informed consent for anesthesia is an ethical and legal requirement. A patient must have adequate decision-making capacity (DMC) as a prerequisite to informed consent. In determining whether a patient has sufficient DMC, anesthesiologists must draw on their knowledge of DMC. Knowledge gaps regarding DMC may result in incorrect assessments of patients’ capacity. This could translate to an informed consent process that is ethically and legally unsound. This study examined the DMC-related knowledge of anesthesiologists in a group of four university-affiliated hospitals. The findings suggest that anesthesiologists have several areas of knowledge deficiency regarding DMC and DMC assessment. These findings could inform the development of undergraduate and postgraduate curricula.

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