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December 24, 1997

Patient Consent for Publication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2140. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240030018

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In Reply.  —In response to the issue of informed consent for publication raised by Dr Kirsch, I believe that in most circumstances identifying information should not be published unless the patient gives written consent for publication. Further-more, I believe informed consent for publication should be obtained in certain other circumstances in which it is feasible and appropriate. I do not believe, however, that informed consent should be required in every conceivable situation. From an ethical perspective, the moral principle of respect for autonomy, the principle from which the concept of informed consent is derived, should not always trump other moral principles such as nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice. Conflicts between moral principles (eg, between autonomy and beneficence) result in moral problems. Such problems cannot be routinely satisfactorily resolved by adhering to a "requirement" of a group of journal editors.Kirsch suggests that any patient should have the right to control the publication