Study about Informed Consent for Surgical Care in East Africa

Study about Informed Consent for Surgical Care in East Africa
Richard Wismayer
New Horizons in Medicine and Medical Research, 6 April 2022; 3 pp 210-215
In the developed world, informed surgical consent is one of the pillars of ethical conduct in surgical practise. Only a few researchers in low-income developing countries have investigated the practise of pre-operative surgical consent. During the informed consent process, the patient has the right to make an autonomous and independent decision about his or her surgical treatment after the surgeon caring for the patient has provided the necessary information. The World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Lisbon encourages patient autonomy and independent decision-making. Informed consent in surgical practise may be influenced by factors such as family and cultural background, education, religion, and socioeconomic status. Few studies have reviewed consent practises among surgeons in East Africa to document best surgical practises and identify areas for improvement in the East African setting. The purpose of this review was to report on the authors’ personal experiences with surgical consent among Ugandan surgeons, as well as to discuss the specific challenges faced in East Africa. In Uganda, informed consent administration and documentation remain deficient. In medical schools, better medical ethics education and communication skills training are required. For fully trained surgeons, refresher courses in medical ethics and communication skills may also be required.

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