Informed Consent: Beyond "Consenting" the Patient
Informed consent is a critical piece of respecting a patient’s autonomy. Only if a patient or surrogate understands the risks, benefits, and alternatives to proposed health care can they adequately evaluate whether that health care is consistent with their preferences, goals, and values. While informed consent might seem straightforward, there are many myths and misconceptions. In this session we will examine the complexities surrounding informed consent and explore common yet misunderstood consent scenarios in adult and pediatric medicine.
Objectives: By completion of this activity, learners will be able to:
- Explain what the doctrine of informed consent requires from clinicians.
- Identify when clinicians must obtain consent and when there are exceptions.
- Distinguish adequate and inadequate disclosure of risks, benefits, and alternatives.
Miriam Shapiro, MD, is a pediatric critical care physician at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, and Affiliate Faculty at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. She is particularly interested in hospital care of and medical decision making for children experiencing serious illness and has published on pediatric chronic critical illness. Dr. Shapiro completed her pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota, pediatric critical care fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and was a Hecht-Levi fellow at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She serves on the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s Ethics Committee. Learn more.
Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD, HEC-C, is a foremost expert on medical law and clinical ethics. He maintains a special focus on patient rights and healthcare decision-making. A former Fulbright scholar and Brocher researcher, Pope is a Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. While he serves in a range of consulting capacities, Pope has been particularly influential through his extensive high-impact scholarship. Ranked among the Top 20 most cited health law scholars in the United States, Professor Pope has over 250 publications in leading medical journals, bioethics journals, and law reviews. He coauthors the definitive treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decision-making, and he runs the Medical Futility Blog (with over four million page-views). Prior to joining academia, Professor Pope practiced at Arnold & Porter and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Pope earned a JD and PhD from Georgetown University. Learn more.