Ethical Problems About Informed Consent in Orthopedics: A Sample from Kocaeli

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AYDIN ER R., Ozcan Senses M., AKPINAR A., ERSOY N.

TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.31, no.2, pp.455-463, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Objective: We aimed both to identify the probable ethical problems related to informed consent in orthopedics clinics and to gather information about the procedures during the acquision of informed consent and clarity of surgical consent forms. Material and Methods: Current study was performed between February 2006 and February 2007 at the Orthopedic clinic at the Kocaeli University Hospital. The study form was prepared by researchers and it was filled out by patients who were not in the emergency room and voluntarily accepted to participate or by their legal proxies by face-to-face interview method. Results: A total of 131 patients participated in the study, and 56.5% of them were males. Average age was 46.0 +/- 17.4 years with range of 18-85. Half of patients had sufficient information for giving informed consent. 20.6 percent of patients reported that they did not have information about the disease and operation. Frequently the patients were informed by doctor after admission in the doctors' office. An approved informed consent form was found in 46.5% of patients' files but only 24.5% of them signed the form themselves. The rest were signed respectively with uncle, aunt, children or a friend. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the informed consent procedure in our orthopedic clinic was not conducted according to national, international ethical codes, rules and regulations. Therefore it has been deduced that both updating current informed consent forms for being ethically and legally valid, and including surgical ethics to residency training will contribute to solve possible ethics problems.