Informed consent is a very important topic in a hospital setting. Possibly THE most important topic.
It’s the process of giving a patient all the information about a procedure or therapy and making sure the patient understands and agrees to the said procedure. It does not have to be written consent!
“An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and consequences of an action. Adequate informed consent is rooted in respecting a person’s dignity.” (Wikipedia)
Unfortunately, informed consent isn’t always obtained. Sometimes things happen very quickly, especially during an unpredictable event like birth. As providers, it can be helpful to try to anticipate any upcoming procedure and discuss it with the patient before it becomes an emergency.
This is why birth plans are important too! You can outline clearly what you would like so that everyone is on board, even in an emergency.
It’s important to note, that patients can refuse ANYTHING. Your provider might strongly recommend something and maybe you need some more clarifications before proceeding. But you don’t always have to agree.
Ask ALL the questions, there are no silly questions when it comes to the birth of your baby. This is your body and you have the right to know EVERYTHING. You can and should be in control.
Did you know about informed consent?
Do you feel like it was given during your care?