Is Informed Consent Ever Truly Informed? [BOOK CHAPTER]

Is Informed Consent Ever Truly Informed? [BOOK CHAPTER]
Johelen Carleton, Pringl Miller
Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics, 1 January 2022; pp 77-89 [Springer]
Abstract
The clinical ethical imperative to provide patients or their surrogate decision makers with relevant and tailored information is a serious endeavor that has challenged many generations of surgeons. The surgical informed consent process (SIC) is a critical aspect of surgical practice that is especially complex because patients are diverse individuals who do not automatically fit into algorithms. The sensitivity and specificity with which the SIC process must be embraced should be seen through the lens of each autonomous person. During SIC it is vital to understand what matters most to the patient. Only then can a surgeon facilitate a meaningful discussion that will honor a patient’s rights, dignity, preferences, goals and values. This chapter will address the evolution of the medicolegal and ethical aspects of the surgical informed consent process and how to optimally satisfy the communication needs. Additionally, this chapter will explore the adaptations to the surgical informed consent process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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