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How to make patients’ consent informed

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Erin Sheley, writing in The Weekly Standard, uses the controversy of  “double booking” of surgical procedures at Massachusetts General Hospital as a launch pad for discussing the need for patients to ask questions of their physicians up and down the line.

She writes: “Patients must recognize that they, too, have important information relevant to their treatment and should generally not accept treatment unless they have communicated everything to their physician.”

Second, she notes, “{P}atients should realize that quite frequently there is no single ‘correct” medical answer and that — to the extent their coverage and the severity of their condition allow it — they have an opportunity to seek out second opinions and compare the proposed treatment plans of multiple doctors.”


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