Medical Disclosure and Consent Forms: Proposal for an International Standard
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 1997; 16(3): 581-591
Disclosure of material risks prior to invasive medical and surgical procedures remains a fiction derived from legal idealism rather than a clinical reality. Where disclosure has been inadequate, legal allocation of individual medical blame fails to address ongoing systems problems in the disclosure process and thereby potentially jeopardizes patient safety. Patient signature of disclosure and consent forms is a standardised international ritual with great potential for ensuring that international ideals and principles of medical ethics (such as those relating to disclosure of risk) become a recognised and consistent part of global medical practice. This article encourages the development of an international standard for disclosure and consent forms.
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