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To The Editor.—Doctor Edward B. Shaw's editorial "Informed Consent" (Amer J Dis Child 114:590 [Dec] 1967) attempts to clarify a medicolegal threat present in everyday practice: liability arising from unmentioned untoward complications of common drugs and procedures.
But, I do not believe that "Informed Consent" aids the practitioner; in fact, by inferring that "parents should be sufficiently informed...." Doctor Shaw may go on record as suggesting that it is standard medical practice to point out all the gloomy possibilities as well as to give the parents sufficient medical education so that they may weigh the risks. He recognizes that it is not appropriate to detail all the hazards yet he fails to indicate just exactly how the practitioner can protect himself from such medical legal pitfalls. Regarding the example of smallpox vaccination, Dr. Kempe's recent views might be raised as showing reason not to follow this particular immunization procedure.
SEMONES EL. INFORMED CONSENT. Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(5):638. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010640027