The Problem With Informed Consent as It Is Practiced

While the concept of informed consent it a good one, there is a fundamental problem with the informed consent and how it is practiced today, writes Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, professor of cardiology, epidemiology, and public health.

While the concept of informed consent it a good one, there is a fundamental problem with the informed consent and how it is practiced today, Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, professor of cardiology, epidemiology, and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine and director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, wrote in MedPage Today.

Ideally, through informed consent patients would learn about the risks and benefits of a treatment and alternatives, which could include doing nothing. Instead, the concept has "devolved into a perfunctory exercise by medical personnel to ensure that the 'chart' has the proper paperwork," he wrote.

Instead of being customized, consent forms are commonly standardized documents that require health literacy far exceeding the capability of th patient. In addition, they are often not well or rested enough to take the time to truly understand what is being presented to them.

Read the full article at MedPage Today: http://bit.ly/1Bu2MOD