Information and consent
Patient information must be provided prior to treatment, must be appropriate, simple, reliable and understandable, and must be dispensed by the doctor in charge of the treatment, who will answer any questions you may have. This information will primarily concern the nature and risks of the treatment(s) to be provided.
Fact sheets concerning various situations and problems that you may experience are given to you as a supplement in most disciplines. They provide additional information on your treatment but do not in any way replace the information provided by your doctor or the nursing staff. Information given to you may be traced via your medical record.
In some cases where required by law, your doctors will provide you with appropriate information and ask you for your consent.
Informing your friends and family
It is perfectly normal for your family members to wonder about your health. However, confidentiality remains our main priority. Our physicians will make every effort to reconcile this requirement with your family’s understandable desire to know as much as possible. With your approval, some information can be shared with family members.
You may designate a trusted person (a relative, loved one or attending physician) and inform him or her accordingly. This person can accompany you and be present during medical appointments to help you with your decisions. This person may be consulted if you are unable to take in information or express your wishes, and will act as your “spokesperson.” Your written designation of a trusted person may be revoked at any time
Clinical trials: information and consent in paediatrics
When a patient is a minor and has the opportunity to be part of a clinical trial, information on each of the interventional studies must be explained as fully as possible to the parents, and the delivery of a written information document is mandatory. Information must also be provided to the child in a manner appropriate to his or her age, and it is possible to submit a written document depending upon the child’s age and wishes.
A consent form is presented – and explained – to the parents or the child’s legal guardians, who must sign it before the commencement of a trial involving the child. The signature of the child or adolescent is not mandatory, but is also possible depending on the child’s age and wishes.