NYMC Faculty Publications

ACR-ARS Practice Parameter on Informed Consent Radiation Oncology

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American Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Radiation Medicine


OBJECTIVES: Consent is a communication process between the patient and a health care provider, in which both parties have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange information relevant to the patient's diagnosis and treatment. The process of informed consent is designed to protect a patient's autonomy in their medical decision-making in the context of an asymmetric relationship with the health care system. A proper consent process assures a patient's individual autonomy, reduces the opportunity for abusive conduct or conflicts of interest, and raises trust levels among participants. This document was developed as an educational tool to facilitate these goals. METHODS: This practice parameter was produced according to the process described under the heading "The Process for Developing ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards" on the ACR website ( https://www.acr.org/Clinical-Resources/Practice-Parameters-and-Technical-Standards ) by the Committee on Practice Parameters-Radiation Oncology of the ACR Commission on Radiation Oncology in collaboration with the ARS. Committee members were charged with reviewing the prior version of the informed consent practice parameter published in 2017 and recommending additions, modifications, or deletions. The committee met through remote access and subsequently through an online exchange to facilitate the development of the revised document. Focus was given on identifying new considerations and challenges with informed consent given the evolution of the practice of radiation oncology in part driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and other external factors. RESULTS: A review of the practice parameter published in 2017 confirmed the ongoing relevance of recommendations made at that time. In addition, the evolution of the practice of radiation oncology since the publication of the prior document resulted in the need for new topics to be addressed. These topics include remote consent either through telehealth or telephone and with the patient or their health care proxy. CONCLUSIONS: Informed consent is an essential process in the care of radiation oncology patients. This practice parameter serves as an educational tool designed to assist practitioners in optimizing this process for the benefit of all involved parties.