J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2013 Sep;52(5):292-300.

Informed Consent in Psychiatry

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Military Manpower Administration, Uijeongbu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 4Leaders Partner Law Offices, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. hanyjung@schmc.ac.kr


Informed consent is the procedure that respects the autonomy of patients ; doctors protect patients' choices and rights through informed consent. Competence and voluntariness are prerequisite for the informed consent. In recent years, the necessity of informed consent from the Psychiatric department has been raised. Regarding informed consent from the Psychiatric department, there is a need to consider from two perspectives : respect for the patient's decision-making ability and the psychiatrist's legal self-protection. In competence and voluntariness, psychiatric patients were excluded due to lack of decision-making ability and willingness. However, not all psychiatric patients were able to perform the given task. Therefore, informed consent is needed in the point of view regarding the decision-making ability of psychiatric patients. Psychotropic medications, particularly antipsychotics, can cause several side effects, including extrapyramidal syndrome and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, preannouncement of these patients for these side effects is needed. However, when the informed consent is only applied to psychiatric hospitals, it may increase prejudices and misconceptions about psychiatric medications and treatment. Therefore, the informed consent should first be considered carefully and thoughtfully.


Informed consent; Competence; Voluntariness; Decision-making ability; Psychiatry
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