How is it possible for me to provide informed consent on a treatment based on subjective diagnosis when I do not know the origin of the source of the diagnosis?

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How is it possible for me to provide informed consent on a treatment based on subjective diagnosis when I do not know the origin of the source of the diagnosis?

My therapist recently acknowledged that she has sought consultations with colleagues concerning my case, while not mentioning my name, and that one had caused her to change her diagnosis. I have no issue with this. The more ideas for treatment the better. I asked her whom she had consulted and what their areas of specialties were so that I knew their relation to the diagnosis. She refused to divulge any of that information.

Asked on December 19, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Informed consent does not mean that you personally know everything that went into the diagnosis--everyone consulted, every test done, every theoretical underpinning for it, etc. What it means is that the diagnosis, the risks, the costs, the prognosis, etc is all divulged to you, and in light of that knowledge of the pros, cons, etc., you consent to the treatment. You can refuse to grant consent if for any reason you mistrust what you are told or feel uncomfortable with the proposed course of treatment--consent is something you must voluntarily agree to. But if you do choose to consent, you can do so without having the information you describe.


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