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Unwittingly De-Humanizing Patients; Rehabilitating Informed Consent

GVER, Vol. 5 No. 1, (2004)

To guide interactions in a healthcare setting, informed consent is the doctrine
that incorporates and operationalizes such seminal ethical concepts as
autonomy, authority, duties, rights, and truth. In everyday practice, however,
informed consent has become ethically impoverished because too much is
overlooked. Three evocative metaphors from Marx, Heidegger, and feminist
theorists are used to illustrate what routinely is omitted: alienation,
inauthenticity, and silence. Examples of typical informed consent discussions
are presented with recommendations of how to rehabilitate them so as to
return to an enriched version of informed consent that is, at the same time,

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