Informed consent is a process by which a fully informed patient can participate in choices of health care. Collingridge, M. (1998) states "it originates from legal and ethical rights patients have to direct what happens to their body and from ethical duty of physician to involve them into their health care".
An element of fully informed consent is that patients have an opportunity to be an informed participant in their health care and decisions. It is generally accepted that complete informed consent includes a discussion of the following: nature of decision or procedure, reasonable alternatives to proposed interventions, relevant risks, benefits, and uncertainties related to each alternative, and acceptance of interventions by patient.
For a patients consent to be valid, the patient must be considered competent to make a decision at hand and consent must be voluntary.
Informed consent is a legal doctrine that was developed by the courts over a number of years. Leaning, J. (1964) described this doctrine as having derived from the Nuremberg Code, (1947).
Mielke, F., & Mitscherlich, A., (1996) expressed that a doctrine of informed consent requires physicians to obtain voluntary informed consent from a subject prior to conducting medical experimentation. An informed doctrine requires physicians to provide patients with all relevant information about a proposed procedure or treatment.
Informed consent involves knowing about what a physician is proposing, whether it is a minor procedure or major surgery, nature and purpose of interventions, intended effects and unintended side effects, risks, harms, hoped-for benefits, and any reasonable alternatives.
Voluntary informed consent deals with human subjects for experimentation. Closely associated with informed consent. Voluntary consent is defined as a patient understands freedom from force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, ulterior form of constraint, or coercion, knowing the right to refuse or withdraw, without prejudicing further health care, right to ask questions and negotiate aspects of treatment coerced perhaps by disease but not by other people.