The Federal Government and Academic Texts as Barriers to Informed Consent

Lanfranchi, Angela
June 2008
Issues in Law & Medicine;Summer2008, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
Informed patient consent for medical treatment is required by both law and medical ethics. Yet, both federal agencies and academicians are participating in the suppression of information about the heightened risk of breast cancer posed by oral contraceptives and induced abortion. There is historical precedent in the long-delayed acknowledgement of the smoking/lung cancer link. By law, a patient has the right to be fully informed of the nature of her medical condition and any proposed course of therapy. It is assumed that a patient will be given the complete and true scientific basis of her diagnosis and treatment, to ensure that her well-being and her autonomy in decision-making are protected. Informed consent is the process by which a patient can participate in choices about medical treatment. It originates from the legal and ethical right of the patient to direct what is done to her body, and from the ethical duty of the physician to involve the patient in her medical care. Our federal government has become a barrier to informed consent concerning oral contraceptive drugs and induced abortion.


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