FEB 10, 2021
The origins of medical ethics date to antiquity with oaths such as those of Hippocrates (450–380 BCE), Maimonides (1135–1204 CE), and Hammurabi (1792–1750 BCE), among others. Not all oaths agree on the necessity of informed consent. Current medical ethics and legal interpretations of informed consent, however, require physicians to engage the patient in a discussion about the patient’s medical condition and proposed treatments. The goal of this discussion is that the patient makes an informed decision about his or her health care and proposed treatments. Informed consent is not a signature on a document; it is a dialogue with the patient that occurs before the patient signs a consent form. Keeping patient confidences and safeguarding confidential information consistent with the law is required both legally and ethically.
The materials and information below are presented for user education and for the development of educational activities.