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December 1993

Is Informed Consent Needed for Fluorescein Angiography?

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(12):1604. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090120018006

It is gratifying to see the recent increased attention given to issues of medical ethics in ophthalmology, in particular, the two excellent articles in the March 1993 issue of the Archives on informed consent by Gold1 and Finkelstein and colleagues.2 Unfortunately, the accompanying article by Lee and colleagues3 may seriously confuse many readers.

Both its title ("Is Informed Consent Needed for Fluorescein Angiography?") and large portions of its text (such as the entire first paragraph) seem to seriously suggest that there really is a question about whether informed consent is needed for fluorescein angiography. There is no question. As the article by Finkelstein et al correctly notes, informed consent, meaning a patient's informed agreement to a medical test or procedure, is a basic ethical mandate. It "ought always to be obtained."2 The question that Lee and colleagues3 appear to be primarily interested in is how