April 2009, Volume 39 Number 4 , p 10 - 11
Brooke, Penny Simpson RN, MS, JD
Issue: Volume 39(4), April 2009, p 10–11 Publication Type: [Department: upFront] Publisher: © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Institution(s): Penny Simpson Brooke is a professor and director of outreach at the University of Utah College of Nursing in Salt Lake City, a member of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys, and a member of the Nursing2009 editorial advisory board. COERCED CONSENT Ignorance is bliss, here
Yesterday, I was unexpectedly called in to help with a surgical procedure. When I arrived, the procedure was underway. After the procedure was complete, I learned that the patient had felt pressured into giving informed consent and may sue the hospital and the surgical team. Could I be held liable in a case like this, where I had no way of knowing how informed consent had been obtained? —R.E., CALIF.
You're right to be protective of informed consent. As a rule, you shouldn't assist in procedures where you know the patient hasn't willingly consented ...