Instructions for the Informed Consent for Chiropractic Care form for the Doctor
As of Oct. 7, 2011 in California, all licensed chiropractors in this state are required to discuss and obtain signed, written informed consent from all of their patients. The most important part of informed consent is the verbal discussion, and the signed statement by the patient (or their parent, legal guardian, conservator, or agent) is not only also required by law but is evidence that the discussion actually occurred. Make sure you have this discussion with your patient or patient to be (or their parent, guardian, conservator, or agent) prior to having them sign this form, and make sure they actually sign the form.
Informed consent must include the following:
a) the proposed procedures,
b) the material risks of the proposed procedures,
c) the potential benefits of the proposed procedures,
d) common alternatives to the proposed procedures/care, including refusal of
care and the associated risks of the refusal of care
Make sure that you list all proposed procedures that the patient will receive not only from you (the doctor) directly, but also those procedures recommended by you to the patient (e.g. exercise, etc.), and those procedures to which you refer a patient (e.g. radiology, massage therapy, referrals to other doctors, etc.).
Material means known risk of serious bodily harm. It is not necessary to discuss every known risk, but a sufficient variety of significant known risks is necessary. The possibility of the occurrence of known risks should be mentioned with the associated known risk.
Although the driving force for this new law was probably that of those opposed to chiropractic, this is an opportunity to turn the situation in a positive one where patients will feel comfortable with your care. To this effect, included is a perspective on risks associated with chiropractic as compared to medicine based on the premiums paid for a $1,000,000 malpractice liability policy.
Keep this as a separate form in every patient's file as required by law.