Consent and Complications in Health Care: The Italian Context

Consent and Complications in Health Care: The Italian Context
Maricla Marrone, Enrica Macorano, Giuseppe Lippolis, Pierluigi Caricato, Gerardo Cazzato,
Antonio Oliva, Benedetta Pia De Luca
Healthcare, 27 January 2023
Open Access
Informed consent is the manifestation of the will that a patient freely expresses toward a medical treatment. The physician is responsible for acquiring informed consent for both medical and nursing procedures. Informed consent represents a juridical–deontological tool that allows therapeutic choices to be shared with the user after having exhaustively explained the risks and benefits of the procedure itself. In fact, the physician has an obligation to provide the patient with clear and comprehensible information about the type of service, the methods of delivery, the benefits, the risks, even unforeseeable ones, and the complications. According to Italian legal guidelines, in cases of presumed health responsibility, the health professional accused of negligence will have to demonstrate that any complication that has arisen, although foreseeable, was not preventable. Through the analysis of a clinical case relating to the procedure of insertion of a bladder catheter performed by a nurse and a review of the literature, the authors explain the importance of the information that must be provided to the patient before carrying out any invasive procedure, even if not performed by the doctor. The authors describe the problem in the Italian context and propose a possible solution.

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