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Saturday, June 18, 2016

The New Era of Informed Consent

Getting to a Reasonable-Patient Standard Through Shared Decision Making

Erica S. Spatz, Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, Benjamin W. Moulton
JAMA. 2016; 315(19):2063-2064. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3070.

Here is an excerpt:

Informed consent discussions are often devoid of details about the material risks, benefits, and alternatives that are critical to meaningful patient decision making. Informed consent documents for procedures, surgery, and medical treatments with material risks (eg, radiation therapy) tend to be generic, containing information intended to protect the physician or hospital from litigation. These documents are often written at a high reading level and sometimes presented in nonlegible print, putting a premium on health literacy and proactive information-seeking behavior. Moreover, informed consent documents are often signed minutes before the start of a procedure, a time when patients are most vulnerable and least likely to ask questions—hardly consistent with what a reasonable patient would deem acceptable. In the United States, with the exception of 1 state, Washington, that explicitly recognizes shared decision making as an alternative to the traditional informed consent process, the law has yet to promote a process that truly supports a reasonable-patient–centered standard through shared decision making.

The article is here.
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