Informed Consent in a Multicultural Cancer Patient Population: implications for nursing practice

Nursing Ethics 5 (5):412-423 (1998)
Abstract
Obtaining informed consent, an ethical obligation of nurses and other health care providers, occurs routinely when patients make health care decisions. The values underlying informed consent (promotion of patients’ well-being and respect for their self-determination) are embedded in the dominant American culture. Nurses who apply the USA’s cultural values of informed consent when caring for patients who come from other cultures encounter some ethical dilemmas. This descriptive study, conducted with Latino, Chinese and Anglo-American cancer patients in a large, public, west-coast clinic, describes constraints on the informed consent process in a multicultural setting, including language barriers, the clinical environment, control in decision making, and conflicting desired health outcomes for health care providers and patients, and suggests some implications for nursing practice
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