Journal Article

Abandoning Informed Consent: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come

Becky Cox White

in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine

Published on behalf of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc.

Volume 23, issue 5, pages 477-499
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0360-5310
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1744-5019 | DOI:
Abandoning Informed Consent: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come

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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 is 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.

Keywords: beneficence; best interests; informed consent; patient-physician relationship

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Medical Ethics ; Bioethics ; Public Policy

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