Choosing Informed Consent: An Ethical Dilemma

703 Words 3 Pages
There is an ethical debate on whether a physician must disclose the risks associated with a procedure to a patient. A physician’s duty is to tell the patient all the information he or she needs in order to give informed consent for the procedure. However, if a physician believes that disclosing the risks accompanying a procedure may be harmful to a patient’s health, they are not required to divulge that information. Even though there are both pros and cons to the action stated, a physician’s job is to provide the best standard of care for the patient. In a situation in which a physician fails to disclose all the risks associated with a procedure, they must still receive consent from the patient to proceed. In order to obtain informed consent, a physician should describe the procedure and list the major risks associated with it as well as alternative measures. Yet, all of this and including the minor risks must be in the form of writing that the patient must sign in agreement. Choosing whether or not to read the form, after having the most important information disclosed to them by the physician, is the patient’s decision. There are benefits to withholding low risk complications from a patient during the …show more content…
If a physician were to not give the patient all the information needed to give informed consent, the physician may be sued if something goes awry. Also, withholding information can affect the patient’s trust and respect in his or her doctor. While a physician’s duty is to keep the best interest of the patient in mind, the doctor is still capable of making a wrong judgement. Perhaps the doctor decides not to disclose certain risks associated with a procedure, but the patient actually wants to know every detail in order to be prepared for the outcome. Failing to inform the patient of pertinent information can result in legal

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