Informed consent: a survey of general dental practitioners in Belgaum city

Vijayalakshmi S Kotrashetti, Alka D Kale, Mamata Hebbal, Seema R Hallikeremath

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2010.031


The informed consent process allows the patient or legal guardian to participate in and retain autonomy over the medical service received. Obtaining informed consent may also decrease the practitioner’s liability from claims associated with miscommunication. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge and practices of general dental practitioners (GDPs) regarding informed consent. 118 GDPs in Belgaum city, Karnataka, India, were given questionnaires asking for information on their knowledge and practices related to informed consent. The questions covered general information, treatment-specific issues and the consent process. 80 responses were received out of which 44 were complete. 63.6% of GDPs reported that they obtained written consent. All of them reported that they obtained only general consent. 4 of them obtained written consent in the local language. 37 said they gave a detailed explanation of the procedure. 3 said they did not inform their patients on radiation exposure. Dentists should upgrade their knowledge regarding legal jurisprudence and legal medicine to avoid any litigation.

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