|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 10 | Page : 5402-5403
Informed consent for telemedicine
Himel Mondal1, Rudrashish Haldar2, Shaikat Mondal3
1 Department of Physiology, Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital, Balangir, Odisha, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal, India
|Date of Submission||26-Aug-2020|
|Date of Decision||04-Sep-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||05-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||30-Oct-2020|
Dr. Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital, Balangir - 767002, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Mondal H, Haldar R, Mondal S. Informed consent for telemedicine. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:5402-3
Telemedicine has enormous potential in the forthcoming days especially when uncertainty prevails regarding how long will the COVID-19 pandemic persists., The Board of Governors in the supersession of the Medical Council of India has published guidelines on telemedicine for the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to the guidelines, in the event when the patients are initiating the teleconsultation, the consent is implied. In addition, explicit consent may be recorded in a simple sentence via email, text message, or audio (“Yes, I consent to avail consultation via telemedicine”).
In both cases where the consent is deemed to be implied or recorded, the doctors presume that the patients are well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of teleconsultation. However, it is questionable whether, in reality, the patient is aware of the same or not. Here, doesn't doctors' presumption overlooks the “informed” part of the “informed consent”?
In our opinion, the patients should be informed about the advantages and disadvantages before beginning the teleconsultation. The practicing doctors should consider obtaining the “informed consent” from all the patients in a format which can be prepared from the consents used by various agencies., We are presenting a very basic version of informed consent in [Table 1].
Those who are practicing telemedicine without a dedicated telemedicine application may take informed consent with this format. The doctors can send the text message containing the statements of the consent and ask the patient to record the voice with narrating the text on a smartphone. The audio file should be sent to the doctor for storage [Figure 1]. We think that this type of informed consent in telemedicine would bring transparency between the doctors and patients and would help in any future legal needs.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
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Lahiri D, Mitra S. COVID-19 is accelerating the acceptance of telemedicine in India. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:3785-6. [Full text]