Informed consent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In Shakespeare's comedy All's Well That Ends Well, Helena, the orphan daughter of a physician, heals the king of France and thereby earns her betrothal to Bertram. That she begs the king's consent before rendering treatment is evidence that even at the turn of the 17th century the royal treatment for patients embodied not only beneficence and nonmaleficence but also patient autonomy and the prior authorization of treatment. In a modern society in which so many live like royalty, the legal standard of informed consent applies to all, regardless of birthright or education. The outcome of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) includes all that does and does not end well – including treatment failure, early relapse, and the possibility of significant adverse effects. Our duty as physicians has evolved into an artful balancing act. Because patients have a right to effective treatment, the ECT physician must be appropriately persuasive. Because patients have the right to refuse treatment, the doctor must provide an honest and reasonably full disclosure and avoid coercion. Because illness and medications may affect understanding, the standard of care requires an assessment of capacity of each patient to consent for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectroconvulsive and Neuromodulation Therapies
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780511576393
ISBN (Print)9780521883887
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Informed consent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this