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ISSN: 2165-7386

Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine
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Review Article

Prognosis: Important Information when obtaining Informed Consent

Vincent Maida1,2,3* and Paula Chidwick4

1Division of Palliative Medicine, William Osler Health System, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2Assistant Professor, Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Palliative Care, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

4Director, Clinical & Corporate Ethics, William Osler Health System, Brampton, Ontario, Canada

*Corresponding Author:
Vincent Maida
101 Humber College Boulevard, Toronto
Ontario, Canada, M9V 1R8
Fax: 905-850-5001
Pager: 416-714-8523
Tel: 416- 747-3450
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Received date: October 27, 2011; Accepted November 28, 2011; Published date: December 02, 2011

Citation: Maida V, Chidwick P (2011) Prognosis: Important Information when obtaining Informed Consent. J Palliative Care Med 1:101. doi: 10.4172/2165-7386.1000101

Copyright: © 2011 Maida V, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Informed consent must be obtained in advance of allpersonal care, investigations, and treatments. For informed consent to be complete and valid, the person giving consent must be capable of making decisions, act voluntarily, and be provided with all necessary information to arrive at a decision that will be in the best interests of the patient. Information sharing has generally focused on available options, risks and benefits of a given intervention, and implications of foregoing the intervention. However, it is difficult to interpret such information without a discussion about the clinical context, natural history of disease, and its associated prognosis.Prognostication, consisting of both the computation (formulation) and disclosure of prognosis, is a key facilitator and enabler for the delivery of truly patient-centered care. Studies have demonstrated that despite patients desiring prognostic information, significant gaps in communication occur between physicians and patients. In a majority of cases of patients with advanced illness there is evidence that disclosure of prognosis has not occurred, thus raising the question as to whether the “informed consent” in this setting is ethically and legally valid.

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