Abandoning Informed Consent: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come
White, Becky Cox
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1998 Oct; 23(5): 477-499.
In a recent critique of informed consent, Robert Veatch argues that the practice is in principle unable to attain the goals for which it was developed. We argue that Veatch's focus on the theoretical impossibility of determining patients' best interests in misapplied to the practical discipline of medicine, and that he wrongly assumes that the patient-physician communication fails to provide the knowledge needed to insure the patient's best interests. We further argue that Veatch's suggested alternative, value-based patient-professional pairing, is, on his own terms, impossible to implement. Finally, we reexamine the philosophical and practical justifications for informed consent and conclude that the practice should be retained.
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