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August 30, 1976

Informed Consent

Author Affiliations

Merced, Calif

JAMA. 1976;236(9):1010-1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270100012009

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To the Editor.—  Laforet (235:1579, 1976) wrote interestingly and at length about the concept of informed consent. He implied that it is a concept that is ambiguous to those involved in patient care at the physician-patient level and also that it is a redundant term.Probably, the concept of informed consent is an evolving concept and, as such, may well be ambiguous to many. I do not think it is quite all that ambiguous to everyone involved at the physician-patient level, as implied. I think I have a fairly good grasp of the concept myself, and I am just an ordinary worker in a semirural pediatric practice.Laforet asks: "Can two people think together if either is uninformed?" The answer to this is obviously "yes." In Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, ed 2, "informed" is defined as an adjective: "having much information, knowledge, or education." "Consent," as a noun, is