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October 7, 1974

Informed Consent

Author Affiliations

Albuquerque, NM

JAMA. 1974;230(1):38. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240010022018

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Mills must have misspelled "wither" in his recent article "Whither Informed Consent?" (229:305, 1974). Although some of his suggestions are valuable, I would take issue with at least two of them.He sets forth a standard form containing language that tracks recent landmark court decisions, viz, "These... procedures all involve risks of complications, serious injury or even death." I got the impression from the article that in certain procedures this "boiler-plate" wording should suffice with regard to informed consent. This form is designed for use in the hospital rather than in the physician's office. As Dr. Mills pointed out, the problem of informed consent becomes most acute in those situations involving elective procedures.A standard form for risk-disclosure, used in the hospital, involves an element of coercion on the part of the physician and hospital staff. After all, here the patient has probably already been admitted