Informed Consent: What It Means for Women and Their Health Care

Informed Consent: What It Means for Women and Their Health Care
Informed consent is a hot topic lately, and for good reason. The principle at the heart of informed consent is to ensure that people have autonomy over their own bodies and health care. When enforced, it gives us the right to make informed decisions about our health care, including whether or not to undergo a test, procedure, or treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss what informed consent means for women and families, ways you can enforce it in your care, and how it impacts your health care.

Informed consent is the legal process by which a person gives permission for something to happen, usually in relation to their own body or that of their young children. In the context of health care, informed consent means that you have the right to be informed about your health condition, the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment, and alternative treatment options. You must also be given the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers in a way that you can understand. Only then can you give your informed consent to a proposed treatment.

This process is important because it ensures that you are making decisions about your health care based on all the information available to you. It also allows you to weigh the risks and benefits of a proposed treatment and make an informed decision about what is best for you and your children. Informed consent is a fundamental principle of health care, and it is important that all patients have the opportunity to give their informed consent before any test, treatment, or procedure is carried out.

However, informed consent is not always enforced in practice. In far too many cases, especially in prenatal care, women are being pressured into giving their consent to a proposed test, treatment, or procedure without being given all the information about it. Often in these cases, they may not be given the opportunity to ask questions or receive answers in a way that they can understand. This then leads to patients making decisions about their feminine and prenatal care that are not in their best interests.

It is therefore essential that informed consent is enforced in all cases where health care, prenatal or otherwise, is being provided. This will ensure that you are given the opportunity to make informed decisions about your health care and that you are not pressured into giving your consent to a test, treatment, or procedure that you do not fully understand. Informed consent is something that needs to be upheld in all cases.

Here are a few ways you can make sure you are given informed consent when it comes to your health care, both prenatal and personal, and for the care of your family as well.

1) Make it very clear to your doctor that you are aware of your rights to informed consent.
2) Ask all your questions and do not allow them to brush you off. 
3) Ask for the information that backs up what they are saying to you in writing.
4) Do not allow the conversations to be one-sided, belittling, or allow them to make you feel guilty for your questions and requests.
5) Take someone with you to back you up and support you if needed.

What do you think about informed consent? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't feel like you were given all the information about a proposed treatment or procedure? I want to hear from you! Leave me a comment below or get in touch with me on social media. I'm always happy to chat!

Looking for a community where you can learn more about how to take ownership of your pregnancy and childbirth experience? I have the place for you! Join my group Open-Minded & Empowered Birthing Mamas where you will find community, resources, knowledge, and support.