Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part column. Look for the second part in the November–December 2019 issue of ASC Focus.
Informed consent, a fundamental patient right, is the process wherein the physician provides the patient with the necessary information to make a fully informed decision about the course of recommended care. Informed consent is a process, not a piece of paper. Treating the consent process as just a piece of paper or as another item to check off the to-do list can lead to mistakes and patient and physician dissatisfaction. It could also expose healthcare providers to potential malpractice liability. Lack of informed consent remains the most common secondary claim in physician medical malpractice actions.