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Health Provider Resources

Informed Consent FAQ

I understand that new regulations take effect August 21, 2005 relating to informed consent when conducting abortions. What do these new laws require?

A State law and associated regulations address the required content of information to patients considered to constitute informed consent for abortion procedures. There are two major stipulations in the law. The state law required two things. First, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is required to maintain an informational web site covering the required information on fetal development, abortion, pregnancy, and family planning. The web site also has resources related to pregnancy-related social and health services in Alaska. Second, use of the informational web site will be anonymously monitored with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

What do I need to do to show that the patient has received informed consent?

There is a downloadable form for documenting the patient has received or reviewed the informed consent materials on the web site. Once the patient has signed the form, it should remain as part of their permanent medical record. You should not forward this form to the state as it contains identifying information about your patient! If you choose to not use the information on the web site you must have a form indicating that informed consent was obtained and that record must remain as part of your patients permanent medical record.

Do I need to use the state’s informed consent web site?

No you do not. However, you must document that the web site or substantially equivalent information was provided to the patient. If you develop and use your own information, you should also develop your own form for documenting informed consent. Any form that is used must be signed by the patient, and kept as a part of her permanent medical record.

If I don’t need to report that the patient has received informed consent, what information do I need to report to the state?

All abortion procedures must be reported to the state. The form to use is titled Report Of Induced Termination Of Pregnancy (ITOP form) and can be found at the Bureau of Vital Statistics web site. State regulations specify that the report must have a revision date of July 2005. The original copy of this completed form must be sent to the Bureau within 30 days of the abortion or termination of pregnancy. However, the ITOP form will ask you whether your patient requested and received the information contained on the web site.

The Report Of Induced Termination Of Pregnancy form has questions related to information on the DHSS web site. Can I use these questions to document that the patient has received informed consent?

No, that is not the intent of the questions. The questions at the bottom of the Report Of Induced Termination Of Pregnancy were added so that the Department could track if patients were requesting to see copies of the information on the informed consent web site. Additionally, state law requires that the Bureau destroy all reports of termination once the information is compiled and published in an annual report.