In case that explicit consent is not available, implied consent or authorisation by primary care givers can be utilised. Legal stipulations require that nurses need to acquire consent before any major medical procedures are carried out. Legally, a person should be in senses, of the legal age of consent and able to form decisions if they are to provide consent. However, it may not be possible for the patient to make decisions if they are not of the legal age of consent, are out of senses or are affected enough not to make sane decision. In such cases, the next of kin are responsible for providing explicit consent for medical procedures. In any of these scenarios, it is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure total confidentiality as a part of essential ethical practice. Confidential information available to nurses may be used against the subject individual who was gained consent from. A breach of confidentiality may occur if the nurse provides information on the patient willingly or unwillingly to any unconcerned party without the patient’s consent. Nursing entails a number of different ethical and moral responsibilities much like other professions. One of the key ethical responsibilities of nurses is to ensure that consent is obtained prior to performing any routines on a patient as described by Gallagher and Hodge (2012, p38). Carvalho et al. (2011, p12) detail that it is the responsibility of nurses involved to ensure that all stakeholders including the patient and his care givers are on board in terms of consent to avoid problematic situations later. In addition to the conventional roles of nurses as carers of patients, the roles of nurses and their ethical responsibilities have been on the increase. Parahoo (2006, p469) outlines how consent is also involved in nursing research, where it is essential to obtain the patient’s or their care giver’s consent after being properly informed on how the obtained information will be utilised. The Royal College of Nursing (2011, p5) mandates that it must also be taken to note that the ethical dimensions of informed consent in nursing have given way in certain areas to legal principles and codes. Healthcare has required extensive ethical involvement since various procedures are risky, invasive as well as needless at times. Informed consent has been an increasing part of the healthcare sector given the need to protect the interests of the patients. The initial development as ethical guidelines has given way over time to legal practices. This has ensured that patients get to choose what kind of treatment they want to undertake for any medical condition. However, informed consent is not without its complications. Bosek and Savage (2006) relate instances where the patient is unable to express himself or herself such as in the state of a coma or in an emergency where the patient is unconscious. In such cases, legal guidelines and practices exist to ensure that the patient’s rights are not encroached upon in the name of necessary and indispensable action. Dimond (2009, p140) provides that this ensures that patients who are unable to speak for themselves still have their rights looked after in the realm of healthcare. Essentially informed consent and its legal and professional aspects tend to protect the interests and rights of both the nurse and the patient alike. The patient is provided with rights to choose treatment and following the applicable laws allows the nurses to avoid professional as well as legal ramifications. It is the primary responsibility of the nurse under the law to ensure that the patient is fully informed before any medical procedures begin. Wood and Wainright (2007, p35) explain that the nurse is under
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