ANALYSIS OF THE HIGH COURT DECISIONS ON INFORMED CONSENT CASES IN TURKEY FROM A FORENSIC POINT OF VIEW
Informed consent is linked to the principle of patient autonomy and has an important place in universal medical ethics rules and legal regulations. The aim of this study is to identify the decisions and criticisms of the high court (Yargıtay) in Turkey related to informed consent and to discuss them from a medicolegal aspect. In the search engine of the website publishing high court decisions, the keywords “informed consent”, “information”, “consent” and “assent” were used without any date limitation. In this study, N=32 high court verdicts were investigated. The data obtained were discussed in light of the literature. In 23 of the cases (71.9%) surgical interventions requiring general anesthesia; in 9 cases (28.1%) surgical interventions not requiring general anesthesia and diagnostic/treatment medical applications were performed. There was a statistically significant difference identified in terms of “surgical interventions not requiring general anesthesia and diagnostic/treatment medical application” between the groups with informed consent and without informed consent. The high court identified that in 17 of the cases (53.1%) informed consent was not present while in 15 (46.9%) informed consent was obtained. The court could not prove that informed consent was obtained in 15/17 cases in the group without consent, while in 7/15 cases in the consent group inadequate informed consent was obtained. The high court questioned the scope and adequacy of informed consent for surgical interventions both requiring and not requiring general anesthesia and for all types of medical intervention with diagnostic/treatment purposes. The types of medical applications that require written informed consent and the aims of informed consent should be re-evaluated.
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