Who is the patient? Disclosure of information and consent in anesthesia and intensive care (Informed consent)
Physicians have always strived to uphold all the ethical postulates of the medical profession in all aspects of the practice, however with the vast advances in science and technology, numerous ethical dilemmas regarding all aspects of life and ultimately death have emerged. Medical decisions however, are no longer in the sole jurisdiction of traditional Hippocratic medicine but are now deliberated and delivered by the patient and they are comprised of a number of additional determining aspects such as psychological, social, legal, religious, esthetic, administrative etc., which all together represent the complete best interest of the patient. This is the basic goal of the „ Informed Consent“. The widening of legal boundaries regarding professional liability may consequentially lead to a „defensive medicine“ and a deterioration in the quality of healthcare. In the Republic of Croatia there a four types of liability and the hyperproduction of laws which regulate healthcare geometrically increase the hazards to which physicians are exposed to on a daily basis. When evaluating the Croatian informed consent for anesthesia, we can come to the conclusion that it is completely impractical and as such entirely unnecessary. Anesthesiologists should concentrate on an informed consent which would in brief, explain all the necessary information a „reasonable“ anesthesiologist would disclose to a „reasonable“ patient so that a patient could undertake a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure unburdened and with complete confidence in the physicians who are involved in the treatment of the respective patient.