Informed Consent Is for Doctors, Not Patients

On Friday, I wrote how I was surprised by the CDC's statement that advance directives are primarily to protect providers from liability. Earlier today while on my way to the park, I was equally surprised to hear Baroness Onora O'Neill say the very same thing about informed consent. In fact, this explains why informed consent is so poor in both the clinical and research contexts. If the objective is to protect providers from liability, then the near-exclusive focus on documentation makes perfect sense. If patient autonomy were really the objective, there would be more emphasis on patient understanding.

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