The Health and Disability Commissioner is pleased to see that an updated informed consent statement for medical student involvement in clinical care has been developed.
“This is an important step in providing greater consistency and clarity across the sector in relation to the requirement to obtain informed consent for medical student involvement in people’s care.”
Ms McDowell is supportive of the explicit focus on culturally safe, Tiriti-informed care within the updated statement, and the acknowledgement of informed consent as an essential part of patient-centered care.
“It is a clear requirement of the Code that informed consent is obtained for medical students to be involved in a person’s care. Informed consent is foundational to the partnership between patients and medical practitioners, and it is vitally important that informed consent is not viewed as a tick box exercise, but as an on-going, interactive process between patient and clinician.”
In around 18% of complaints to HDC people raise concerns about informed consent processes, says Ms McDowell, and communication issues feature in more than half of complaints (60%). Complaints to HDC also highlight the physical and psychological patient harm that can occur when a person’s right to informed consent is not upheld.
Ms McDowell emphasised the need for ethical leadership to address informed consent issues in the sector.
“I agree with the Statement’s authors that there is need for collective action and ongoing attention, training and review to ensure legal and professional standards are met.”
20 July 2023