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Comment & Response
September 6, 2016

Informed Consent and the Reasonable-Patient Standard—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, Healthwise Research and Advocacy, Boston, Massachusetts

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(9):993-994. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10561

In Reply As noted by Dr Main and colleagues, the ruling of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board,1 overturning the physician-based standard in favor of informed consent to a patient-based standard, is a helpful construct in addressing patients’ informational needs. In that case, multiple physicians arrived at the same conclusion that the risk of shoulder dystocia sustained by an infant during vaginal delivery was rare, and that disclosure to a pregnant woman would result in patient fear and the undesired overuse of cesarean delivery. Yet the UK Supreme Court ruled that the risk was material to the patient’s decision and that a reasonable patient would want that information when considering her options. Thus, we disagree with Main and colleagues that the reasonable-patient standard is confusing.

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