The Informed Consent Process in Whole Blood Donation (Report) by Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

The Informed Consent Process in Whole Blood Donation (Report)

By Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

  • Publication Date: 2008-06-01
  • Genre: Health & Fitness

Book Summary

The statement that a whole blood donor is required to sign prior to the collection of blood in the United States has evolved during the past 60 years from a "release" type of statement to something more like "consent" verbiage. The donor release statement developed by the American Red Cross at the inauguration of their blood program in 1941 was more of a legal document that stated that virtually no one involved in the collection process was "in any way responsible for any consequences to me resulting from the giving of such blood or from any of the tests, examinations or procedures incident thereto." (1) The current donor consent is more likely to stipulate that donors have reviewed and understand the written materials presented to them and that they could be placed on a deferral registry should they test positive for an infectious disease marker. The donor is generally held accountable for comprehending the process. The concept of informed consent in medicine in the United States has a long history that dates back to 1914 with the legal case of Schloendorff v Society of New York Hospital. (2,3) This case defined the right of competent adults to determine what can be done to their bodies. A number of subsequent legal cases further defined the concept of informed consent but it was not until 1957 in the case of Salgo v Leland Stanford, Jr University Board of Trustees that informed was connected to consent and that there was a duty to disclose alternatives to patients undergoing medical interventions. (2,3) The legal and ethical duty to obtain informed consent from patients prior to medical treatments and interventions is a normal part of the practice of medicine today. The major elements of informed consent consist of disclosure (sharing material information), comprehension (ability to understand information), voluntariness (freedom to make decisions), competence (ability to make decisions), and consent (decision and authorization). (3,4)

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