Informed Consent: What Does It Mean
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1983 Jun; 9(2): 69-75.
The chairman of Australia's Law Reform Commission discusses the concept of informed consent as an ethical priniciple grounded in respect for human autonomy and reflected in contemporary legal doctrine. In civil law, health care professionals have obligations to secure patient consent, although exceptions of varying merit to these obligations have been put forward. Problems continue to arise from attempts to define the meaning and scope of obligations to insure informed consent from all classes of patients and research subjects, particularly children. Kirby outlines suggestions for resolving the consent dilemma and re-emphasizes the principles of patient integrity and autonomy. (KIE abstract)