Informed consent

Roelofse J.A. (1990)


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To the Editor: A recent contribution to the SAMJ has highlighted the·term informed consent. Malpractice litigation, which only a decade ago was a rather infrequent occurrence, has increased at an alarming rate. Those involved often tend to place the blame for this situation on anorneys seeking to profit from easily earned fees. To blame the problem solely on the legal profession is not being realistic. We also have to understand why the public has become more litigious. One of the major factors contributing to the inctease in litigation has been the growth of consumerism in our society. Anything less than perfection is considered the basis for a potential malpractice suit. Even worse is the fact that substandard care is no longer the only issue. Such suits are defensible only on the basis of proper informed consent. Perhaps we must try to understand what consti- . tutes acceptable informed consent.

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