Some time ago, Ian Kennedy asked whether consent was
the great bulwark of “patient's rights”? Is
it a necessary nuisance granted as a concession to modish thinking? Is it
simply a figment of some lawyer's (or—awful word—medical
ethicist's) imagination which practitioners know is meaningless in
practice? Is it just part of the rhetoric of “patient power”,
sent to try doctors' patience and challenge their authority?
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