A little more than a decade ago, an article appeared in a major medical journal on the topic of informed consent. It began with these two very curious sentences: Informed consent is a foundational concept of medical ethics. Since its enunciation almost four decades ago, it has engendered, and continues to engender, a great deal of debate and opposition among practicing physicians. Neither sentence is particularly remarkable standing alone, but how could both sentences be true? If informed consent truly is foundational to medical ethics, how could it still be the subject of debate and opposition by members of the medical profession? My advice to patients, and to those who care about and sometimes must advocate for them, is to focus your primary attention on the second of the two sentences in the quoted passage and take it as a red flag flapping in the winds of controversy that blow continuously through the landscape of health care. Why this is an appropriate response will, it is hoped, be abundantly clear to everyone who reads this chapter from start to finish.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)