Making Informed Consent Work in Nigerian Health Care
Aniaka, Oluchukwu Jacinta
MetadataShow full item record
The notion of informed consent to medical treatment is a fundamental precept in law. It recognizes autonomy and the right to personal inviolability, irrespective of nationality, socio-economic situation and ideological orientation. A full realization of autonomy in the Nigerian legal system is severely constricted by sociological and cultural factors. Of particular concern is the impact of oppression which may arise from socialization, arbitrary disclosure practice by physicians, or as a result of legislative enactment. To remedy the elemental defects in the Nigerian Code of Medical Ethics, without addressing the impediments posed by the social environment from which a patient operates, will nuance informed consent in Nigerian health care but may not fully realize patient autonomy. A serious commitment to respecting patient autonomy may be realized through a collective effort of the State, the medical profession, the community, and patients in order to remove the impediments to full exercise of autonomy.