Informed consent is more than simply getting a patient to sign a written consent form. It is a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention.
In the communications process, the physician providing or performing the treatment and/or procedure should disclose and discuss:
The patient's diagnosis, if known; The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;
The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;
Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance);
The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure; and
The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.