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27 February 2008 On Abandoning Informed Consent On his article en d Abandoning Informed Consent, Robert M. Veatch strongly asserts the abandonment of informed consent in modern medical practice. Instead of focusing on how informed consent should be appropriately applied in medical decision making, he took a step behind by looking its correctness. Summing up his discussion he argued that consent ” will have to be replaced with a much more radical, robust notion of active patient participation (Veatch 1995).”
The argument of Veatch is backed by the physician’s incapacity to grasp what is best not just for the patient but for the other parties affected. He also pointed out that even though a doctor can rightly identify what is appropriate in the situation, he is still unable to prescribe what the patient perceives to be most beneficial for him and his family. Veatch also recognized the choice of patient to sacrifice his welfare for the sake of his loved ones in choosing the best option for decisions regarding his medical condition.
I strongly agree with Veatch’s argument for abandoning informed consent believing that the best thing that a physician can do is to ask his patient what option will best maximize the latter’s utility. For example, a woman might be suffering from a risky pregnancy and the doctor decided to have an abortion without informing her because of constraints. The woman’s life might be saved but she will be suffering in her entire life should she think of the loss and the immorality of what was done.
Veatch, R (1995). Abandoning Informed Consent. Hastings Center Report. 25(2): 5-12

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