Malpractice lawsuits are a substantial concern in health systems with miscommunication, inadequate information, and unsuccessful patient involvement in decision-making seeming to be contributing factors. This paper draws attention to the explicit role of informed consent (ic) obtainment in actualized complaint cases and to what extent novel methods to exercise ic through means of shared decision-making (sdm) and supporting tools might be applicable. A national sample of cases from the Health Professionals Disciplinary Board in Denmark is reviewed and discussed together with international legal instruments and case law. It is confirmed that patients claim their right to participate in decision-making about healthcare options. In many situations sdm and accompanying tools would apply and possibly they could sometimes prevent ic duty breaches, assist documenting ic procedures, and help avert the need for litigation.
Patientombuddet: Årsberetning2013København: Sundhedsvæsenets Disciplinærnævn 2013; Patienterstatningen — Året i tal 2013: behandlingsskader. By way of comparison in the us since the mid 2000s annual costs including ‘defensive medicine’ expenses are estimated to be more than $50 billion (see M.M. Mello A. Chandra A.A. Gawande and D.M. Studdert ’National costs of the medical liability system’ Health Affairs 29 (2010) 1569-1577).
Huntington and Kuhnsupra note 1.
M.J. Barry‘Shared decision making: informing and involving patients to do the right thing in health care’Journal of Ambulatory Care Management35 (2012) 90-98.