Speech as Speech: “Professional Speech” and Missouri’s Informed Consent for Abortion Statute

Speech as Speech: “Professional Speech” and Missouri’s Informed Consent for Abortion Statute
Michael J. Essma
Missouri Law Review, Spring 2019; 84(2)
Open Access
Excerpt
Does life begin at conception? Do women need to see a sonogram to make an informed decision about whether they want an abortion? Some state legislatures believe so.1 Laws mandating politically driven doctor-patient dialogue affect one of the hallmarks of the physician-patient relationship: a patient’s trust in the physician’s expertise. The common law and statutory requirement that a patient provide informed consent for a medical procedure facilitates the development of trust between patient and physician by allowing the patient to understand the procedure and discuss her options with her physician.2 However, provisions of abortion-specific informed consent statutes that require physicians to communicate to the patient messages with which the physician disagrees undermine this trust…

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