Shared Consent: Acknowledging the Subjectivity of Surgical Decision-making

Shared Consent: Acknowledging the Subjectivity of Surgical Decision-making
Surgical Perspectives
Paul J.Kepper, Sean C. Wightman, Baddr A. Shakhsheer
Annals of Surgery, 22 August 2022
Excerpt
Surgeons aspire to make data-driven decisions to provide the highest level of patient care. Evidence-based medicine mandates utilization of the best available data to guide decision making. The decision to offer an operation, however, is more than an evaluation of clinical evidence. Clinical expertise applies evidence-based medicine to a specific patient and tailors the practice of medicine to individual patient situations and preferences. Clinicians fill the gaps in the evidence with expertise developed over years of experience and training. Bridging these gaps is often described as the “art of surgery”; it is inherently subjective. Shared consent is the process that acknowledges subjectivity in decision-making. Shared consent is the foundation for a cooperative cognitive model between patient and surgeon, interpreting the available data through the lens of patient preference while relying on surgeon expertise…

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