Medesthetics

JAN-FEB 2019

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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LEGAL ISSUES | By Alex Thiersch Informed consent—the idea that patients have the right to make their own decisions about their medical treat- ments—fi rst appeared in court rulings in the early 20 th century. It was codifi ed into law in the 1970s and 1980s and is now sacrosanct. "The point of informed consent is to demonstrate that the physician or the provider has given the patient all the material information they need to make an informed deci- sion," says Jay Reyero, partner for ByrdAdatto, a Dallas- based healthcare and business law fi rm. "It is more than a signed consent document." Physicians are legally and ethically required to share with patients the nature of the recommended procedure or treatment, the potential risks and outcomes, and what to expect in the days and weeks following the treatment. In the medical aesthetics industry, treatments typically are performed on healthy patients, so physicians and practices have an added ethical obligation to ensure that patients fully understand any potential risks. A physician who subjects a patient to a procedure the patient has not agreed to has violated that patient's rights and may be subject to litigation, loss of medical license and loss of hospital privileges. Here's what aesthetic practices need to know about informed consent requirements and recommendations. The Basics The physician must provide enough information to allow the patient to make an "informed" decision about their medical care. Court rulings in the late 20 th century helped clarify the information that must be disclosed. Most notably, the 1972 case Canterbury v. Spence—which was brought by a patient who was left paralyzed following a laminectomy—outlined specifi c information that must be provided, which includes: • The condition being treated • The nature and character of the proposed treatment or procedure • Anticipated results • Recognized alternative forms of treatment • Recognized serious risks, complications and antici- pated benefi ts involved in the treatment, as well as the recognized alternative forms of treatment, including nontreatment How this information must be relayed to the patient is not legally dictated, but it typically requires a combination of verbal and written information. The medical provider 22 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | Med Esthetics © GETTY IMAGES Informed consent requirements and recommendations. INFORMED DECISIONS

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