Consent Obtained by Residents: Informed by the Uninformed?

 

Alan R. Tait, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 2 (Summer 2019): 163-6.

 

Informed consent is central to the bioethical principle of respect for persons, a process that involves a discussion between the physician and patient with disclosure of information sufficient to allow the patient to make an informed decision about her or his care. However, despite the importance of informed consent in clinical practice, the process is often ritualized, perfunctory, and performed by individuals with little or no training in the consent process. This article discusses the lack of medical students’ and residents’ training in informed consent and questions the practice of allowing untrained residents and surrogates to obtain consent from patients.

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