Informed Consent: Is It Enough?

Today we discussed informed consent which was very interesting. A colleague brought up a very important point, was that enough? Is it enough to just give a patient an informed consent with all the risks and options available? Everyone has a skewed view, whether they try to or not. Thus, when you give an informed consent, it may lean one way, whether you are conscious of it or not. Thus, if there is a surgeon who gives an informed consent, but pushes for his agenda and hides the fact that he has never doing the procedure by himself before, will that informed consent actually make the outcome and different? Perhaps it will, and perhaps it won’t. I think informed consent isn’t enough. Patients need a real conversation with not only the primary surgeon/physician, but also a second opinion, whether they think they need it or not. This allows a potential different viewpoint to be heard by the patient and his/her family, and at the same time gives them enough time to think about their options. They also need to make sure the physician who will be taking care of the patient really cares about the patient and holds the patient’s values to heart.