Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7094
GODINHO, Adriano Marteleto; LANZIOTTI, Lívia Hallack and MORAIS, Bruno Salome de. Informed consent: the understanding of lawyers and courts. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2010, vol.60, n.2, pp. 207-211. ISSN 0034-7094. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-70942010000200014.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: An increase in malpractice lawsuits has been seen in Brazil over the past several years, mainly due to higher awareness of the population regarding the quality of the medical care provided. According to the 1988 Brazilian Constitution and Consumers' Defense Code, physicians cannot subject patients to any treatment or surgical procedure without proper consent. The objective of this article was to provide medical professionals the legal understanding on informed consent. CONSENTS: This report focuses on the history, concepts, and fundaments of the informed consent, and validity requirements such as: capacity, voluntariness, and understanding by the patient, and providing relevant information, as well as the circumstances in which the informed consent is not necessary. CONCLUSIONS: Signing an informed consent is a statement, by the patient, that he/she is aware of the nature of the medical intervention and corresponding risks, and he/she freely accepts those conditions and risks. With this article, we hope the medical community will be more aware of the legal aspects involving the matter to avoid misunderstandings that commonly transfer the sacred physician-patient relationship from medical offices and hospitals to the courts.
Keywords : MEDICAL ETHICS [informed consent].