Informed consent is an important term that describes your right to receive necessary information before you decide to accept or refuse any medical treatment. All adults (or their legal representatives) have the right to be given pertinent information in advance about treatment options, and the possible benefits and consequences. You or your legal representative have the final say in all decisions.
During your stay in a nursing home, important California and federal laws give you the right to choose or refuse any care or treatment offered to you, at any time and for any reason. Your doctor and the nursing home must work together to keep you fully informed about your health and to give you all of the information that is material to your decision about proposed treatment.
Your right to make informed decisions extends to many important health decisions, including the use of medications. Nursing home residents commonly take many drugs, which sometimes do not work well together. It is very important that you receive pertinent information about the benefits and consequences of each medication, and how a new drug will interact with other medicines you are taking. You have the right to be fully informed before any changes are made to your medications or new drugs are given.
Due to the implementation of Medicare Part D, Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit, doctors will be under pressure to prescribe medications the private Medicare drug plans will cover.
Although your drug coverage may be changing, your rights have not. Your medications cannot be changed without your informed consent. Talk with your doctor and the nursing home soon about their plans to keep you fully informed about the medicines you use.
Title 22, California Code of Regulations, §§72527(a)(3)(4) & (5), 72528. 42 Code of Federal Regulations §483.10(b).