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May 1, 2005

Appropriate Timing for Informed-Consent Discussions—Reply

Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(5):707. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.5.707-b

In reply

I agree that the informed-consent procedure risks degenerating into a tool to avoid litigation. I am therefore very pleased about your thought that a thorough discussion with patients about surgical risks is a matter of fairness. I completely agree that we as physicians have to tell the patients that we cannot promise a particular outcome and that adverse events can happen and may lead to an unpleasant postoperative result. As physicians, we have to clarify that. However, since considering the real-life circumstances is a matter of constitutional legality, I believe that the courts should rethink the credibility of patient claims about informed-consent information by considering the real-life circumstances outlined in prior studies and our present one.

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