Informed Consent is the right for patients to be given sufficient information in a way that they can understand, to enable them to exercise their right to make informed decisions about their care. The right to an informed consent is enshrined in the National Health Care Standards (NHCS). The provisions are enshrined for health practitioners to uphold the patients’ right to consent and address unethical behavior of patient coercion and situations which disregard the choice of patients when providing health services.
Health practitioners must take appropriate steps to find out what patients need to know and ought to know about their condition and its treatment. Such dialogue with patients leads to clarity of objectives and understanding, and strengthens the quality of the relationship between health practitioners and patients. It provides an agreed framework within which health practitioners can respond effectively to the individual needs of patients.
Health practitioners registered under the Health Professions Act of No. 24 of 2009 of the Laws of Zambia have certain rights and privileges. In return, they must meet the standards of competence, care and conduct set by the Health Professions Council of Zambia. This booklet expounds the principles of good practice which all health practitioners are expected to follow when seeking patients’ informed consent to investigations, treatment, screening or research in respect to patients’ rights.