case study 2491

In the course of admitting Mr. Yan for same-day surgery, Susan notices the surgical consent form, typically completed at the surgeon’s office or the pre-admission clinic, is not signed

Susan tries to confirm with Mr. Yan that he has consented to surgery, but they are having difficulty understanding each other. When Susan asks questions in English, Mr. Yan responds in Cantonese. Susan calls a hospital interpreter. When the interpreter arrives, Susan learns that Mr. Yan did speak to the surgeon. He states, through the interpreter, that he knows he needs the surgery and agreed to have it at this time. He remembers little else about the conversation.

What are Susan’s professional responsibilities?

Susan knows when she is involved in care or treatment provided by another health professional, she has a professional responsibility and ethical obligation to respect and promote the client’s right to be informed and make informed choices. Regardless of whether Mr. Yan has signed the consent form, Susan knows she must:

  • Confirm Mr. Yan’s identity and verify that he has consented to the surgical procedure
  • Check to see if he has sufficient information and understanding about the surgery, and if not, help him understand the information provided by the surgeon
  • Advocate for him to get more information as needed

Can Susan witness Mr. Yan’s signature?

What does Susan do?

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