Does Informed Consent Truly Exist?

By Dr. Mercola Informed consent is a basic human right in which a person has the ability to voluntarily accept or reject a treatment or medical procedure, including use of pharmaceutical products, after being fully informed of all possible risks and benefits. “The most important goal of informed consent,” according to the University of Washington School of Medicine, “is that the patient has an opportunity to be an informed participant in her health care decisions.” It seems a simple premise, but throughout history we’ve seen cases where informed consent was not only challenged but completely ignored — a trend that exists to this day. In an era when your legal right to informed consent is increasingly under attack, it’s important to review some tragic historical mistakes and outright assaults on freedom and ensure that they’re not repeated. For example, decisions made by judges sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court more than 100 years ago are sti


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