Informed consent has long been a bedrock principle of medical ethics, but the form intended to document a patient’s understanding of a proposed intervention is too often written at a college reading level and is ambiguous about risks.
Some doctors are out to change that, bringing a personalized medical approach to informed consent.
Nine medical centers around the country — including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit — are testing an informed-consent process for patients undergoing nonemergent cardiac catheterization and potential angioplasty. The Web-based program draws on a national cardiovascular database to predict individualized risks of death, bleeding or restenosis.
Proponents of the effort say informed consent should include even more data, telling patients about cost, alternative treatments, and doctors’ and hospitals’ quality performance.
The whole shebang.