What you need to know before consenting to medical treatment

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  • Sharon says:

    The information you have provided in this article is excellent I always ask questions and I also ask for a copy of the consent form

  • andreas says:

    Good story Paul. Last week i accompanied my elderly mom to her colonoscopy. Because I am a physician I knew the benefits and risks ahead of time and had discussed them with her before we went. So for us, understanding the risks and benefits as told to us by the surgeon at the time of the procedure wasn’t a big deal.

    However, the wait time to undergo an “elective” procedure (which in her case wasn’t egregious, but did involve quite a lot of calling back and forth to family doctor and surgeon, and being told the surgeon was super busy) does put extra pressure on a patient to push ahead with the procedure even if she doesn’t fully understand the benefits and risks, or is uncertain what to do. Had my mom said “I need to think about this for a couple of days” this would likely have meant going back to the end of the waiting list (or at the very least a much longer wait) if she decided to have the procedure.


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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