Why It Is Important to Have Informed Consent Forms in Different Languages

Since 1980, the Council of Europe has been engaged in the protection of rights in many spheres including biology and medicine achievements. During this period, a sufficient number of documents were adopted, but among the significant ones is the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights in the Field of Biomedicine. 

Over the 20 years of its operation, this document has become one of the key documents of the COE and is vital not only in the EU region but also in the world.


What Is the Document About?

The Oviedo Treaty is the first international legally binding document that enshrines the already established rule that no medical procedures can be carried out in respect of a human without his consent.

Common provisions of the principle are given in Art. 5 Oviedo Convention:

  • Medical intervention can only be carried out after the human concerned will provide their informed consent.
  • For this, the human receives relevant info about the goal and nature of the intervention, as well as its consequences and risks.
  • He or she can freely withdraw this consent at any time.

It is vital that consent is considered not as a fact of expression of will but as a process that allows a person to make voluntary and informed choices regarding a planned intervention.

Info should be appropriate both in content and in form. The med worker has to provide the human with objective info about the character and the outcomes of the medical interference and talk about alternatives to such an intervention before it is carried out. The info has to relate to improvements that may occur as a result of the treatment, and the risks associated with it.

Regarding the form, the info provided should be set out in a language that is clear for the person concerned.  To facilitate her or his understanding, providing it not only verbally but also in writing can be of great importance.


Appropriate Translation 

To translate Informed Consent Forms, medical institutions should regularly cooperate with specialists from translation companies. Thus, the basic requirements for the info that must be translated to the patient before the medical interference is:

  • the goal of the intervention;
  • the nature of the offered intervention;
  • pros and cons, the predicted outcome of the offered manipulation, possible complications and side effects of the interference (like the characteristics of every human, such as age or the presence of other pathologies);
  • other options of the offered operations, including the results of the lack of treatment;
  • all procedures related to treatment, as well as potential damage, trauma, pain, or other discomfort caused by treatment;
  • a proposal to provide additional info regarding specific types of cure.

Of course, the doctor should not know dozens of languages, but the medical institution should provide simple and accurate info to the human. Probably, now it is clear when the translation of the IC Forms should come in handy. 


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