Informed consent in a patient with aortic dissection and mild intellectual impairment
Wafa Abdelghaffar, Elyes Lagha, Fares Azaiez, Nadia Haloui, Rym Rafrafi
QScience, 19 January 2022
Informed consent is an ethical and legal requirement in modern medicine. A valid consent implies that the patient can decide on treatment after receiving adequate information from his doctor. In case of incapacity and specific conditions, doctors can administer treatments without patient consent. Nonetheless, some cases are borderline, such as the patient presented in this paper who had a mild intellectual impairment and refused to undergo urgent intervention for aortic dissection. In this case, psychiatrists and cardiologists collaborated to check whether the patient could consent and decided to respect his choice. He was not operated, and the local ethical committee agreed with this decision. In Tunisia and developing countries, the paternalistic approach is still prevalent in the doctor-patient relationship. This paper highlights that ethical considerations should be universal and applied to all patients in all cultures and discusses ethical and legal aspects.
Editor’s note: QScience is the online publishing platform from Hamad bin Khalifa University Press, Qatar.