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A Piece of My Mind
June 15, 2005

Informed Consent

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(23):2838. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2838

Surely you will agree: A stranger proposes to render you unconscious, to force a camera down your throat, to cut open your sternum, or, perhaps, to wield the knife under your breast. You, too, would want to flee—screaming—wouldn’t you? Warming to the havoc, the stranger says he will place your heart on a life-support system while he cuts it open. He says when you awaken you may no longer have a fully human heart. You may have a heart partially composed of cow pericardium. A scenario worthy of The Twilight Zone! You will agree that if this is not science fiction, then it is battery or torture.