Why sign an informed consent?

It is a sign of respect and ethics.

When a patient undergoes assisted reproduction treatment, they must be fully aware of what will happen and what their participation in that event will be. By tradition, we have left the decision of what is good for us and what is not in the hands of the health professional. In the long run, this turns out to be a great responsibility for the professional and leaves the patient in the uncomfortable place of someone who puts their needs and dignity aside, because: the doctor knows what he is doing.

It is true that it can be reassuring for someone prepared to decide for us at an important moment, but on occasions, that tranquility is accompanied by a feeling of lack of information, which is only filled if we show interest in asking. What has caught the attention of ethicists is that beyond our questions, there usually remains a large amount of information that, since we don’t know it exists, we don’t usually ask. And it’s only after the procedure, when the unknown variables surface, that we realize that maybe that wasn’t the way we wanted to be treated.

To respect the autonomy and beneficence of the patient, the idea arose to inform him (or) of all the variables involved in the health and research procedures to which he was submitted. This information is called Informed Consent and must be signed by the patient. The purpose of signing is for professionals to have the peace of mind that they are not violating the patient’s rights, knowing that the patient made the decision to be treated, knowing all the necessary information. This is fundamental, because in the long term each individual must live with the consequence of his decisions, without informed consent, we would be incurring in an unjustified paternalism that would annul the right to autonomy. To save this right, there are government institutions that protect patients. In Mexico, COFEPRIS is the body in charge of requiring health institutions to be present and sign informed consents, quite an achievement and progress in the history of Human Rights. .

An informed consent in assisted reproduction must establish:

  • What does the procedure consist of, when is it indicated and why.

  • What the procedure will be like.

  • What the expected results are.

  • What the risks are.

  • Aproximate time and budget

  • Any other general aspect that is related to the procedure, to which it will be submitted.

“To protect the patient, a whole movement known as Bioethics has developed whose objective is to solve the problems that arise with research and intervention on life, the environment and the planet.”

Dr. Arturo Valdés
Dr. Arturo Valdés
Reproductive Medicine and Gynecological Endocrinology
View Profile