Lynn Jansen, ‘Two Models of Informed Consent’

Informed consent is a central concept in the literature on the ethics of clinical care and human subjects research. There is a broad consensus that ethical practice in these domains requires the informed consent of patients and subjects. The requirements of informed consent in these domains, however, are matters of considerable controversy. Some argue that the requirements of informed consent have been inflated, others that they have not been taken seriously enough. This essay argues that both sides are partly right. To advance this argument, the essay distinguishes a general doctrine of informed consent from what it characterizes as ‘models of informed consent’. A general doctrine articulates a set of requirements for informed consent and then adjusts these requirements to fit the context in which they are to be applied. In contrast, different models of informed consent impose different requirements in different contexts. The essay contends that different models of informed consent are needed for clinical care and clinical research. It outlines these two models, articulates the rationale for distinguishing them, and considers and rebuts the objection that clinical care and clinical research are too deeply intertwined in contemporary medicine for the models approach to apply to them.

Lynn A Jansen, Two Models of Informed Consent, Social Philosophy and Policy, volume 38, issue 2, Winter 2021, pp 50-71, Published online by Cambridge University Press 15 June.

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