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March 1, 1976

Witness-to-Consent Form

Author Affiliations

Yankeetown, Fla

JAMA. 1976;235(9):909. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260350015016

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To the Editor.—  I want to comment on a point of "legal confusion," exemplified in the article, "Whither Informed Consent," by D. H. Mills, JD (229:305; 325, 1974), and its editorial comment and the recent rebuttal and rejoiner (234:615, 1975).In his rebuttal, Alan Meisel, JD, recommends that the responsible physician or surgeon should not sign a consent form as a witness, on the grounds that he is an interested party, and that, as in witnessing wills, a witness should be an impartial, disinterested witness to the signatures, and to the entire consent conversation as well.Agreed, except that a record of consent is not like a will, but like a conveyance, in which the physician's signature should not be excluded, but definitely be included as that of a very definitely interested party. If the patient has reservations, they should be recorded, and the physician should agree to abide by