Informed consent : ideal or reality ?
Is it ever possible to give informed consent to treatment or research ?
Are the standards of consent set by ethicists and lawyers too hight for ordinary people to reach ?
Should these standards be abandoned or modified ?
These questions are discussed in this paper mainly in relation to the extensive literature on consent in medicine, with examples about consent to children's treatment and research which raise extra dilemmas.
Paradoxical meanings are considered : consent as an informed correct choice or a courageous best guess, and autonomy as isolated, uncompromised freedom or reasonably uncoerced self-realisation.
Beyond being informed, consent involves evaluating, making and signifying a decision.
It is better understood as a process than an event, in which reasoned understandings can be complemented by emotional insights.
Ethical and legal standards of voluntary consent, although partly an unrealistic ideal, provide important guidelines for people who request and give consent to research.
Mots-clés Pascal : Ethique, Consentement éclairé, Information, Malade
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Ethics, Informed consent, Information, Patient
Notice produite par :
ORS Auvergne - Observatoire Régional de la Santé d'Auvergne
Code Inist : 002B30A11. Création : 11/09/1998.