Consent to Randomised Treatment
Brewin, Thurstan B.
Lancet. 1982 Oct 23; 2(8304): 919-921.
The need for complete disclosure and mandatory obtaining of informed consent in randomized treatment is questioned. The author suggests that too much information may be as bad as too little. He distinguishes between randomized treatment and research, emphasizing that a hazardous treatment believed to be beneficial can ethically be compared with a less hazardous but possibly less effective one. Knowledge of hazards might deter patient participation in beneficial protocols or cause great psychological stress. The physician is urged to be flexible--not to "impose" consent but to be willing to discuss issues if the patient wishes to know. (KIE abstract)