The legal implication of informed consent for Children and adolescents: Informed consent lays the foundation for the psychotherapy relationship and treatment to come in respecting the
client’s legal rights and offering them the opportunity to decide about participating in the treatment to be delivered. It enables the client’s autonomy and empowers them to play an active
role in their treatment. The potential benefits of an appropriately implemented informed consent process is a collaborative process that sets the tone for the psychotherapy relationship,
promoting an enhanced therapeutic alliance; it promotes shared decision-making. This information sharing and collaborative decision-making process minimize the risk of exploitation of
and harm to the client. (Coffman, C., Barnett, E., 2022). The legal implication of informed consent for adults: The process of informed consent occurs when communication between a patient
and physician results in the patient’s authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention. If the patient lacks decision-making capacity or declines to participate in making
decisions, the provider should: Assess the patient’s ability to understand relevant medical information and the implications of treatment alternatives and make an independent, voluntary
decision. Present relevant information accurately and sensitively, keeping with the patient’s preferences for receiving medical information. The physician should include information about
the diagnosis, the nature, and purpose of recommended interventions, the burdens, risks, and expected benefits of all options, including forgoing treatment. Document the informed
consent conversation. When the patient/surrogate has provided specific written consent, the consent form should be included in the record. In emergencies, when a decision must be made
urgently, the patient cannot participate in decision making, and the patient’s surrogate is not available, the provider may initiate treatment without prior informed consent. In such
situations, the physician should inform the patient/surrogate at the earliest opportunity and obtain permission for ongoing treatment in keeping with these guidelines.
Ethical implications of informed consent in adults: With informed consent, the patient and health care provider each play a role in formulating an acceptable treatment
plan. Essential aspects of informed consent include ethical obligations to promote autonomy, provide information, and avoid unethical forms of bias. Patients have the right to refuse
medical therapies, whether on religious or other grounds if they are competent to do so. Providers cannot subject patients to specific tests without informed consent. All patients should be
involved in decision-making to the degree their capacity allows, irrespective of age. (Van. Norman. G., 2008).
Ethical implications of informed consent for children and adolescents: The American Medical Association suggests that practitioners have a moral obligation to encourage
adolescents’ autonomy by involving them in the decision-making process of medical treatment. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (2003) defers the regulation of consent rights of minors to
individual states, it takes the following position: “As children develop, they should gradually become the primary guardians of personal health and the primary partners in medical decision making,
assuming the responsibility of their parents” (Committee on Bioethics, 1995, p. 316). Even though the parent has a legal responsibility to ensure the child is receiving the appropriate medical care, there is
also, an ethical “need to respect the rights and autonomy of every individual, regardless of age” (Kunin, 1997, p. 44). Although practitioners are encouraged to respect adolescents’ autonomy, ethical
guidelines promote obtaining consent for treatment with the adolescent and the parent (Roberson, A.J., 2022)
Caroline Coffman, Jeffrey E Barnett
Adolescents, I. (2022). Informed Consent with Children and Adolescents |
society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Retrieved 9 March 2022,
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