Practice of Medicine

Article

Informed Consent-State of Georgia

May 13, 2015

Informed Consent is a process that leads to shared decision making between the patient and the provider. The form signed by the patient serves as confirmation that the process has taken place. Often, a procedure-specific form is better because it explains the risks and benefits discussed for the proposed treatment more clearly than a general one.

Except as otherwise provided, Georgia Informed Consent law, Code Section 31-9-6.1, requires  that “Any person who undergoes any surgical procedure under general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, or major regional anesthesia, or any person who undergoes an amniocentesis diagnostic procedure, or a diagnostic procedure which involves the intravenous or intraductal injection of a contrast material, must consent to such procedure, and shall be informed in general terms of the following: (1) A diagnosis of the patient's condition requiring such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure; (2) The nature and purpose of such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure; (3) The material risks generally recognized and accepted by reasonably prudent physicians of infection, allergic reaction, severe loss of blood, loss or loss of function of any limb or organ, paralysis or partial paralysis, paraplegia or quadriplegia, disfiguring scar, brain damage, cardiac arrest, or death involved in such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure which, if disclosed to a reasonably prudent person in the patient's position, could reasonably be expected to cause such prudent person to decline such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure on the basis of the material risk of injury that could result from such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure; (4) The likelihood of success of such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure; (5) The practical alternatives to such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure which are generally recognized and accepted by reasonably prudent physicians; and (6) The prognosis of the patient's condition if such proposed surgical or diagnostic procedure is rejected.”

Although healthcare providers may think of informed consent in the context of procedures, equal consideration should be given to any treatment recommendation that carries high severity or high frequency risks, also known as “material risks”.  Material risks include those that have a high severity or a high frequency. For the less serious risks, a rough rule of thumb could be if the risk event occurs in 3% of the cases; for the more serious risks, 1% would be sufficient[1]

  [1] Malpractice: Your Informed Consent May Not Be Good Enough. Medscape, Feb.10, 2011                                                     

 

 

Disclaimer This Advisory is not a comprehensive analysis of every treatment or procedure that may be addressed by the Georgia Informed Consent law .Please consult with your personal attorney or the Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners, if you have specific questions.

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.