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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


SIMON, P.. Ten myths about informed consent. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2006, vol.29, suppl.3, pp.29-40. ISSN 1137-6627.

The author reviews ten myths that, in his opinion, make up the perspective of many professionals on informed consent (IC). A viewpoint, on the other hand, that is imprecise and of low ethical and juridical quality. The myths are: 1. IC is something foreign to the moral duties of doctors. 2. IC consists in getting the patients to sign the form authorising an intervention. 3. Good clinical practice consists in carrying out clinical actions well, from a scientific-technical point of view; IC has nothing to do with this. 4. The ethical foundation of IC is the principle of autonomy. 5. Obtaining IC is an obligation of the professionals who carry out interventions, but not of those who prescribe them. 6. IC is meaningless because the majority of patients do not want to be informed. 7. Patients have the right to refuse a course of treatment, but only before it is applied to them. Once it is started, the professionals cannot withdraw it. 8. The evaluation of the capacity of the patients to make decisions is the responsibility of the psychiatrists. 9. Respect for the requirements of IC can be satisfied without the health organisations investing additional resources in this. 10. Obtaining IC is a responsibility of the doctors but not of the nursing staff. The conclusion insists on the importance of exposing the hidden discourse of these myths in order to be able to change the practices concerning IC in our health organisations.

Palabras clave : Informed consent; Bioethics; Law; Capacity.

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