Informed Consent Prior to Nursing Care Procedures
Nursing Ethics 2005 January; 12(1): 19-29
It is largely undisputed that nurses should obtain consent prior to nursing care procedures. This article reports on a qualitative study examining the way in which nurses obtain such informed consent. Data were collected through focus group discussion and by using a critical incident technique in order to explore the way in which nurses approach consent prior to nursing care procedures. Qualified nurses in two teaching hospitals in England participated in the study. An analysis of the data provides evidence that consent was often not obtained by those who participated in the study and that refusals of care were often ignored. In addition, participants were often uncertain how to proceed with care when the patient was unable to consent. Consent prior to nursing care procedures is an essential but undeveloped concept, for which a new ethos is required.
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