Objective: Although a main principle of medical ethics and law since the 1970s, standards of informed consent are regarded with great scepticism by many clinicans.
Methods: By reviewing the reactions to and adoption of this principle of medical ethics in neurosurgery, the characteristic conflicts that emerge between theory and everyday clinical experience are emphasised and a modified conception of informed consent is proposed.
Results: The adoption and debate of informed consent in neurosurgery took place in two steps. Firstly, respect for patient autonomy was included into the ethical codes of the professional organisations. Secondly, the legal demands of the principle were questioned by clinicians. Informed consent is mainly interpreted in terms of freedom from interference and absolute autonomy. It lacks a constructive notion of physician–patient interaction in its effort to promote the best interest of the patient, which, however, potentially emerges from a reconsideration of the principle of beneficence.
Conclusion: To avoid insufficient legal interpretations, informed consent should be understood in terms of autonomy and beneficence. A continuous interaction between the patient and the given physician is considered as an essential prerequisite for the realisation of the standards of informed consent.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Towards a European code of medical ethics. Ethical and legal issues
- Defending the four principles approach as a good basis for good medical practice and therefore for good medical ethics
- Ethics needs principles—four can encompass the rest—and respect for autonomy should be “first among equals”
- How should doctors approach patients? A Confucian reflection on personhood
- Professional-patient relationships and informed consent
- Evolving legal responses to dependence on families in New Zealand and Singapore healthcare
- A case study from the perspective of medical ethics: refusal of treatment in an ambulance
- Will international human rights subsume medical ethics? Intersections in the UNESCO Universal Bioethics Declaration
- Good clinical practice and informed consent are inseparable
- “I can put the medicine in his soup, Doctor!”