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January 22, 2018

Informed Consent Training in Pediatrics—Are We Doing Enough?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
  • 2Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.4088

As ethics educators, we are continually struck by the wide variability in residents’ reported formative training in informed consent. Many trainees have expressed a lack of preparation and anxiety when asked to obtain consent, particularly for procedures and interventions for which they have no planned involvement. One intern remarked that he sometimes Googles the risks before meeting a patient. A lack of training in obtaining informed consent is not only legally tenuous but may also devalue its significance and lead to the perception that consent is simply a way to achieve the parent’s or patient’s acquiescence.

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