Pre-operative written consent in Nigeria: How informed are o | 17882
International Research Journals

Pre-operative written consent in Nigeria: How informed are our patients?


Atanda Oluseyi Olaboyede, Owonikoko Kola Musliudin, Adeniji Adetunji Oladeni

This study was carried to determine the patients’ u nderstanding of status, purpose and importance of written consent before operation. This is a questio nnaire based study which was self administered for literates’ patients and with assistance of interpre ter to illiterate ones. The questionnaire was administered 24hours before the scheduled operation , but after the routine informed consent has been obtained. This study revealed that patients had lim ited knowledge of legal implications of consent before surgery. More than half 130 (55.6%) of the p atients strongly agreed that the main purpose of th e consent is to protect the hospital against litigati on. Over two-third, 162 (69.2%) of the patients hav e strong believe that consent allows doctors undue co ntrol of what happens during surgery. However, high proportion of the participants 168 (71.8%) and 156 (66.7%) strongly agreed that signing the consent form made them more aware of what was going to happen during surgery and the risk of surgery respectively. Many patients seem to have li mited knowledge of the legal implications of signin g or not signing consent forms, and they failed to id entify that written consent primarily serve their interests. Existing consent form signing appeared i nadequate as a way for the expression of patients’ autonomy. Ethical standard and credibility of the p resent processes of obtaining informed consent need to be re-examined.

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