Friday, April 2, 2010

Informed consent and decisional capacity

Rosemary Flanigan
April 2, 2010

I’ve was thinking of the implication of enhancing one’s decisional capacity AND the validity of one’s informed consent.

Now, because I have been blessed with good genes and am lucky, I am not well informed first-hand about the informed consent process in hospitals, but I have heard that healthcare professionals are less liable to argue with a patient who readily signs the form than with the patient who hems and haws.

We all know that the signed form represents little in the way of evidence of real informed consent. I know how increased information, illustrations and stories can enhance decisional capacity for the patient who is decisionally problematic. But what about brain enhancement that minimizes risk, safety, self-preservation?

Are we careful enough in the informed consent process to address both sides of the issue: the cognitive/affective underbelly and the cognitive/affective over-stimulated?



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