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December 17, 1982

Consent for Publication

JAMA. 1982;248(23):3093-3094. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330230015007

To the Editor.—  The timely article by Barry D. Weiss, MD (1982;247:2695), raised the issue of obtaining informed consent for the publication of patientrelated materials in medical journals. Specifically, he noted that although 67% of nonprimary care physicians would report families in medical journals without informing the family, only 25% of patients would expect to be so reported without being informed. While the legal ramifications of this are mentioned in the article1 and the accompanying editorial (1982; 247:2708), there is another aspect that we would like to bring to the attention of physicians. Increasing numbers of relatively rare disorders are filling the medical literature, making it almost impossible for physicians in specialized disciplines to be aware of all the disorders that may affect certain patients. Many of these diseases can be diagnosed only with invasive, time-consuming, and expensive studies. Coupled with this is the highly mobile nature of the