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March 16, 2011

Informed Consent in Clinical CarePractical Considerations in the Effort to Achieve Ethical Goals

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, and Center for Research on Health Care (Dr Schenker), and School of Law and Center for Bioethics and Health Law (Mr Meisel), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 2011;305(11):1130-1131. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.333

Informed consent is a fundamental tenet of the US health care system, rooted in the ethical principles of respect for patient autonomy and enhanced patient well-being.1 As famously stated in a pivotal court case, “every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body.”2 Over the past century, that has come to mean that patients should be able to participate in decisions about their medical care, weighing the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a proposed intervention to ensure that the care they receive reflects their goals, preferences, and values.

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