Author Affiliations: UCLA Health System Ethics Center and the UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California, Los Angeles.
Shared decision making between patients and their physicians is optimal for choosing a course of medical care. Decision making is shared because it includes both information from the physician about the medical condition and potential approaches and the perspectives of the patient whose values guide selection among the potential options. Usually, decision making occurs in the context of a conversation between the physician and the patient and optimally includes an iterative series of questions and answers to ensure that the patient understands his or her condition and the upsides and downsides of the treatment choices for him or her to make an informed decision.
Wenger NS. Skin Cancer and Shared Decision MakingComment on “Treatment of Nonfatal Conditions at the End of Life”. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(11):1012-1013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6685