VA Medical Centers provide care to more patients than any other single provider in the United States. Due to the large number of physicians and medical specialists employed by the VA, the VA sometimes fails to obtain a patient’s informed consent prior to performing a proposed medical procedure.
VA regulations clearly define what a VA medical provider needs to disclose in order to obtain a patient’s informed consent prior to a surgical procedure or course of treatment.
In order to obtain a patient’s informed consent, the following must occur prior to the start of the procedure:
- Careful explanation of the proposed procedure or course of treatment;
- Explanation of the potential benefits of a procedure vs. the potential risks and complications;
- Explained in language understandable to the patient;
- Freely given consent;
- Consent for undergoing anesthesia AND consent for undergoing a particular surgical procedure both need to be obtained.