Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (1):34 – 42 (1999)

Although long touted as an ethical and legal requirement, some clinicians still seem to offer less than fully adequate informed consent processes; similarly the counseling of patients and families, particularly about post-intervention scenarios, is often perfunctory at best. Keyed to a narrative of a patient's experience with surgery for a deviated septum, this article reflects on why such less than adequate clinician behaviors tend to occur and what might be done about them. Certain legal misconceptions about informed consent are highlighted in this reflection, as well as why certain clinicians seem to take such a narrow view of their responsibilities to patients. Further reference in this regard is also made to a recently constructed module on informed consent for medical residents. In it, though legal requirements for informed consent are reviewed, the basic perspective taken regards informed consent as a clinical intervention that pursues certain basic goods and values, only one of which lies in determining when legal closure for such processes has occurred
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DOI 10.1076/jmep.
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