medication consents

  1. I work on an adolescent (13-17 years) unit. A question has come up about the medication consents for psychoactive medications. For all patients under the age of 16, we must have the consent of the parent or guardian.
    Some people have had the parent signing a blank consent. I've questioned this, feeling that it was not legally a prudent thing to do. In talking with other staff, they agree, but our manager has asked us what is wrong with it.
    Does anyone have any input, or sources that would help me support our stand - other than you don't sign a legal form with blank lines.
    Thanks for your help.
    Catz2mom
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   researchrabbit
    You cannot give informed consent if you do not know what you are consenting to...this is absolutely against the Nuremburg Code and the Helsinki Declaration.

    These are available at many places on the web; here are two spots you can find them.

    For copies:
    Nuremberg code
    www.dreamscape.com/morgana/nurmberg.htm

    Helsinki Declaration
    www.kelcom.igs.net/~nhodgins/helsinki.html
  4. by   sanakruz
    I believe the laws are slightly different state to state. I live/work in CA. My understanding ( until Today) was that an MD must verbal explain pros/cons to the patient and then obtain written consent from pt. or guardian. This includes conserved adults; their conservators must sign. Both children and adults have the right to refuse meds unless a court proceeding decides otherwise.( a Reise hearing)The responsibility is on the MD to obtain informed consent. Today the director of our out pt. clinic told me I was to obtain these consents, after I complained to him that the docs were remiss! I DONT THINK SO>>>> When I worked acute we would get phone consent from a parent- a nurse and MD would both document the conversation and the parent would sign later. Cant imagine anybody signing a blank consent!
  5. by   sjoe
    I suppose these same people sign blank checks and mail them in to pay their phone bills as well? Nothing illegal about it, just stupid. It WOULD, however, be illegal for your facility to encourage or demand that people sign blank forms. Any attorney has some training in contract law and could explain this to your managers. Presumably your facility has one on retainer.

    Psychnurse is corrrect about what constitutes informed consent, and that it is up to the MD to do any necessary explaining, education, etc. Apparently this is not done in your facility and could leave it open to subsequent lawsuits, however foolish the signatories are.
    Last edit by sjoe on Nov 9, '02

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