Informed consent is very vital in the process of blood transfusion. It gives physicians the duty of disclosing the nature of the kind of treatment being proposed to the patient, the involved risks, the various complications that may arise as well as the expected results. It is informed by the legal doctrine of good clinical practice, which requires that patients are given accurate and sufficient information to enable them come up with a thoughtful decision with regard to the therapy they receive (Boucher & Hannon, 2007). Generally, healthcare providers must know that obtaining consent is also an ethical requirement, as much as it is a legal requirement. It is well entrenched in the autonomy principle (Ministry of Ethics, 2014). This work analyzes the contents of the consent form used in blood transfusion and the purpose of such consent form.
The consent form gives a number of requirements. They include the following: whether the patient is accepting blood transfusion and whether the patient has refused blood transfusion. Other requirements are the signature of the witness, the information about whether the patient has reacted to blood transfusion initially, and the indication of specific previous reaction to blood transfusion.
Each of these elements is noted within the actual form itself in various ways. For instance, the patient’s acceptance of blood transfusion is the whole essence of the form. Firstly, it is written in first person to give the patients its ownership and the liability thereafter. It is culminated by the patient’s acceptance signature, which is an indication that the patient has read and understood all the information regarding the process and has accepted to go through it.
Secondly, the occurrence of the initial reaction to blood transfusion is noted under consent and blood transfusion. It is stated: “previous reaction to blood transfusion?” The provisions for yes and no are given as “( ) Yes ( ) No” for the patient to indicate if he or she has had the reaction or not respectively.
Thirdly, the specific reaction the patient had experienced is also stated in the same section as the above-mentioned element. It is stated in the form of the question: “What was the reaction?” This enables the patient to provide a brief explanation of the reaction he or she had experienced during initial transfusion. On the other hand, the patient’s acceptance of blood transfusion is stated as “Patient/authorized surrogate or proxy signature date/time”. It is stated in terms of a provision for the patient’s signature.
Finally, the option of refusing blood transfusion is stated as “refusal of blood transfusion”, and a provision for the signature of both the patient and the witness given. As per the signature of the witness, the form provides a space for it after the statement: “witness signature date/time”.
The consent form serves a number of purposes. It contains the provision of any reaction the patient had witnessed during the initial blood transfusion processes. In this way, the physician will plan to address any of such potential risks. They include fever, swelling, allergic reactions, bruising, the failure of the heart resulting from the overload of the circulatory system, infectious diseases, and contamination with bacteria with toxic and septic reactions.
The form also ensures that the patient gives his or her consent from an informed point of view. First, the patient’s signature is an acknowledgement that he or she has been explained for their condition, the need for blood transfusion, and the dangers related to refusing blood transfusion. In addition, the patients are given an opportunity to state whether the information can be disclosed to their friends and family members. It also ensures that the patient is given time to ask any question and that all the concerns raised are addressed.
For the organization, the form relieves its members in any legal liabilities in cases where they have done their part. For instance, through signing the form, the patient acknowledges that the physician has fully informed him or her of their medical condition, and advised them on the need for blood therapy as well as the dangers of not accepting to be transfused. In this case, the physicians and the Martin Memorial hospital are cleared of any eventuality resulting from their patient’s refusal of blood transfusion after all the necessary advises are given. The signature of the witness completes everything, as both parties are made more liable for their actions and decisions. Equally, the form explains the source of the blood being used in the transfusion process and gives the organizations that have been involved in the screening process. It ensures that the organizations are held accountable for the blood being used on the patient.
In conclusion, it is important that healthcare professionals adhere to the requirements in the consent form. As it is obvious in the form, keeping to its requirements will work for the good of both the organization and the patient. It is normally very evident in cases of legality involving the two parties.