Aligning Ethics with Medical Decision-Making: The Quest for Informed Patient Choice

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 38 (1):85-97 (2010)
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Abstract

Clinical evidence suggests that many patients undergo surgery that they would decline if fully informed. Failure to communicate the relevant risks, benefits, and alternatives of a procedure violates medical ethics and wastes medical resources. Integrating shared decision-making, a method of communication between provider and patient, into medical decisions can satisfy physicians' ethical obligations and reduce unwanted procedures. This article proposes a three-step process for implementing a nationwide practice of shared decision-making: create model integration programs; provide legal incentives to ease the transition; and incorporate shared decision-making into medical necessity determinations

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