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Ask a Lawyer—In the Patient's Best Interest: Informed Consent or Protection from the Truth?

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Abstract:

In response to a reader's essay, the author of this column states that physicians must legally and ethically provide expectant parents with information about their risks and options. It is not acceptable to withhold information or simply not to bother to relate information. Childbirth educators can help promote patient autonomy in health decision-making.

Keywords: childbirth educators; ethical responsibility; legal responsibility; patient autonomy

Document Type: Miscellaneous

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812400X87789

Affiliations: NAYNA PHILIPSEN is an attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, associated with the State of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She is also a health educator at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore and a clinical faculty member at the Salisbury State University Department of Nursing.

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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