Informed consent: Patient's right or patient's duty?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (2):183-198 (1985)
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Abstract

The rule that a patient should give a free, fully-informed consent to any therapeutic intervention is traditionally thought to express merely a right of the patient against the physician, and a duty of the physician towards the patient. On this view, the patient may waive that right with impugnity, a fact sometimes expressed in the notion of a right not to know. This paper argues that the rule also expresses a duty of the patient towards the physician and a right of the physician against the patient. The argument turns, first, on the truism that a physician has no obligation to commit a battery, or unauthorized touching, and, second, on the thesis that a patient necessarily cannot consent to something that is unknown to him. The conclusion is drawn that a patient is not free to receive treatment voluntarily without knowledgeably authorizing it. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?

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Richard Hull
National University of Ireland, Galway

References found in this work

Philosophical papers.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by J. O. Urmson & G. J. Warnock.
The ascription of responsibility and rights.H. L. A. Hart - 1951 - In Gilbert Ryle & Antony Flew (eds.), Logic and language (first series): essays. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 171 - 194.
XI.—The Ascription of Responsibility and Rights.H. L. A. Hart - 1949 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 49 (1):171-194.
The ascription of responsibility and rithts.H. L. A. Hart - 1949 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 49:171.

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