Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 85. Board of Medicine
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatry, and Chiropractic

18VAC85-20-28. Practitioner-patient communication; termination of relationship.

A. Communication with patients.

1. Except as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03 F of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall accurately inform a patient or his legally authorized representative of his medical diagnoses, prognosis and prescribed treatment or plan of care. A practitioner shall not deliberately make a false or misleading statement regarding the practitioner's skill or the efficacy or value of a medication, treatment, or procedure prescribed or directed by the practitioner in the treatment of any disease or condition.

2. A practitioner shall present information relating to the patient's care to a patient or his legally authorized representative in understandable terms and encourage participation in the decisions regarding the patient's care.

3. Before surgery or any invasive procedure is performed, informed consent shall be obtained from the patient in accordance with the policies of the health care entity. Practitioners shall inform patients of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the recommended surgery or invasive procedure that a reasonably prudent practitioner in similar practice in Virginia would tell a patient.

a. In the instance of a minor or a patient who is incapable of making an informed decision on his own behalf or is incapable of communicating such a decision due to a physical or mental disorder, the legally authorized person available to give consent shall be informed and the consent documented.

b. An exception to the requirement for consent prior to performance of surgery or an invasive procedure may be made in an emergency situation when a delay in obtaining consent would likely result in imminent harm to the patient.

c. For the purposes of this provision, "invasive procedure" means any diagnostic or therapeutic procedure performed on a patient that is not part of routine, general care and for which the usual practice within the health care entity is to document specific informed consent from the patient or surrogate decision maker prior to proceeding.

4. Practitioners shall adhere to requirements of § 32.1-162.18 of the Code of Virginia for obtaining informed consent from patients prior to involving them as subjects in human research with the exception of retrospective chart reviews.

B. Termination of the practitioner/patient relationship.

1. The practitioner or the patient may terminate the relationship. In either case, the practitioner shall make a copy of the patient record available, except in situations where denial of access is allowed by law.

2. Except as provided in § 54.1-2962.2 of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall not terminate the relationship or make his services unavailable without documented notice to the patient that allows for a reasonable time to obtain the services of another practitioner.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 1, eff. October 19, 2005.

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