Informed Consent: What am I frightened of?
I sympathize with supporters of simple consent. I probably don't
need to know the long list of possible side effects of pain killers and I
probably don't need to be told that an influenza injection will hurt.
However, what do I need to know, and will it frighten me? I am not
particular frightened of needles - yet if nobody told me that they hurt I
would be a little miffed.
There are many times when a patient does not need to know ALL the
choices, but I have one question about simple consent. Would the patient
be told about ALL the possible problems with the suggested course of
action - frightening as they may be? If they are not there may be an
issue concerning patient autonomy. Can I truly be said to consenting to a
flu jab, if I didn't know that it hurts? There also may be a danger, if
nobody told me a flu jab did not hurt I might flinch whilst be injected
and waste a perfectly good vaccine. And that helps neither patient or
Competing interests: No competing interests