What is Informed Consent? What is Shared Decision Making?

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Informed consent is not a signature on a consent form. It is not a single event. It is part of shared decision making which is a continuous conversation between you and your care provider.

You need to have knowledge of the risks, benefits and alternatives to a course of care, test, or procedure. Lavender Moon midwives give guidance to clients wishing to seek out resources to assist them in the decision making process. To give consent you must be fully informed, have capacity to give consent, and give it voluntarily without coercion.

To make an informed decision, you should…

* Obtain evidence based and reliable information including risks, benefits, and alternatives to the course of care/test/procedure

* Ask questions

* List and weigh pros and cons. Use B.R.A.I.N. acronym

* Discuss with partner and care providers

* Review goals

* Consider medical history

* Make a plan

B.R.A.I.N. Acronym

B ~ Benefits ~ What are the benefits of doing this procedure?

R ~ Risk ~ What are the risks involved?

A ~ Alternatives ~ Are there any alternatives?

I ~ Instincts ~ What is your instinct telling you to do?

N ~ Nothing ~ What would happen if we did nothing or waited a while?

What does informed consent and shared decision making mean to you?

Freya Rose Tanner