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Informed Consent: Essential Legal and Ethical Principles for Nurses

Menendez, Juliet Battard RN, MSHL, CPHRM

JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation: October/December 2013 - Volume 15 - Issue 4 - p 140–144
doi: 10.1097/NHL.0000000000000015

ABSTRACT Before surgery, the informed consent process is the practical application of shared decision making between a surgeon and a patient. However, nurses, as enlightened patient advocates, also have an entrusted interest in fully understanding the legal and ethical considerations of the informed consent process. Some of the ethical principles impacting informed consent are existing cornerstones of professional nursing practice. Nevertheless, surgeons bear the ultimate responsibility for the informed consent process before surgery. The ideal completion of the informed consent process may be achieved if surgeons and knowledgeable nurses collaborate for the patient’s good.

Author Affiliation: St. Lucie Medical Center, Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Correspondence: Juliet Battard Menendez, RN, MSHL, CPHRM, St. Lucie Medical Center, 1800 SE Tiffany Ave, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins