The truth about informed consent

The Happy Hospitalist tells it like it is:

[W]arnings…are so ubiquitous in our country, they are there for protection from hungry lawyers, not to protect the public.

I view informed consent documentation as the same way. The doc or nurse spits out a bunch of medical jargon, stuff that nobody understands except doctors and nurses. Then hands a sheet of paper to the patient with 3 three pages of fine print and says sign this.

Of course, it’s a time consuming worthless process. In five years, I have never had anyone ask a question about the informed consent process. It’s a process that masquerades as a patient centered initiative.

So true.  It’s amazing how much of medical practice is now related to medicolegal risk reduction.  Of course, another way to reduce medicolegal risk is to simply dismiss patients who in a saner time and place would simply be considered a bit annoying or eccentric.  It’s one of those unintended but in retrospect logical and even inevitable consequences of having a hyperlegalized society.  Along the same lines, there is some evidence that the Americans with Disabilities Act actually impaired the ability of disabled men to find employment.  Actions have consequences.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: