1) What are the elements of an informed consent?
Elements of consent - Decision-making capacity, disclosure, understanding, voluntariness
2) What potential risks and benefits would you need to discuss with this patient?
Consent discussion should include -
a) the proposed procedure or intervention - what it is designed to do and why we are doing it - LP - discuss it further
b) all other reasonable options, including doing nothing
c) the anticipated benefits - rule out a serious disease - subarachnoid haemorrhage presumed due to aneurysm
d) the common risks - local pain and discomfort with procedure, recovery time, post-spinal headache
e) rare or uncommon risks if they are significant (i.e. death or disfigurement) - epidural hematoma or abcess, trauma to nerve root, ?
f) and need to know enough about the patient to determine if there are other risks that are significant to them in their specific situation (reasonable patient standard - from Reibl v Hughes legal case)
3) How would you document this discussion?
The discussion should be documented in your clinical notes. The patient does not necessarily need to sign a specific consent form.