Informed Consent and the Role of the Treating Physician image

New England Journal of Medicine, June 21, 2018
By Holly Fernandez Lynch (Former Executive Director), Steven Joffe, and Eric A. Feldman


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From the paper:

In the century since Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo famously declared that “[e]very human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body,”1 informed consent has become a central feature of American medical practice. In an increasingly team-based and technology-driven system, however, who is — or ought to be — responsible for obtaining a patient’s consent? Must the treating physician personally provide all the necessary disclosures, or can the consent process, like other aspects of modern medicine, take advantage of specialization and division of labor? Analysis of Shinal v. Toms, a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, demonstrates the dangers of a narrow, rigid approach to consent.

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bioethics health law policy holly fernandez lynch