Hi, I am new to this site- and I have a legal question. I am a PICC nurse in florida and have been researching the Florida statutes on informed consent. My question is- can a dr. sign informed consent for a patient who has no family or guardian and the pt. is not competent to sign consent. For what I understand dr's can only sign if a procedure is deemed medically necessary? But I don't think PICCs are in that classification?
Thank you, In need of some input.
Jan 9, '09
I don't know why the MD would sign at all. The idea is to have the patient or guardian be informed about the procedure. If the MD is going to override the consent, then why bother to sign at all? And yes, PICC's may be medically necessary, especially if that is the only available IV site. Better talk to risk management about this as state laws and facility policies vary. You don't want an opinion based on what we say as we are not lawyers in Florida.
Jan 10, '09
Yes a PICC can be medically necessary. If it is the best or preferred or necessary way to deliver the prescribed therapy it most certainly is OK to classify it as such. I want you to check in your hospitals administrative policy manual under the consent section and you will find your policy. Also find out if you have a Florida if you have a consent manual In Ca we do. There should be a section in either of these documents what should be done in this type of patient. In Ca the MD writes a medical necessity note in the progress notes and states why the patient needs it and what the medical condition is that prevents the patient from giving consent. this also includes if there is no family or conservator.