To the Editor.
—I would like to thank Drs Morgan and Schwab for the superb article that was published in the January 1986 issue of the Archives.1 The sentence, "Penman and co-workers revealed in their study an impression probably held by most surgeons, that ultimately patients rely on the physician to act in the patient's best interest," is a vitally important one. I am not sure, however, that one of the other sentences in the final paragraph of the article follows from the data presented. It was stated "that the patients recall so little of what was explained to them preoperatively should encourage physicians to pursue, at seemingly excessive lengths, their patients' education in order to avoid tragic misunderstandings." Perhaps what needs to be pursued is not the education of the patient, but rather: (1) the physician's ability to communicate with the patient, and (2) the certainty that the
Spaeth GL. Informed Consent. Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(7):973. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050190030014