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The Doctrine of Informed Consent in Medical Law


Ferdinand van Oosten

The so-called «doctrine of informed consent» is one of the most controversial and hotly-debated issues on the present-day international medico-legal scene. This study comprises an investigation of the nature, scope and application of the doctrine in the West German, English and South African legal systems as representatives of widely diverging and often conflicting approaches to the doctor's duty of disclosure. The problems relating to the informed-consent requisite and the solutions offered thereto are expounded, discussed, analysed and evaluated within the framework of case law and legal opinion in the three selected legal systems. The study concludes with a synopsis of fundamental principles of informed consent recommended for South Africa.
Contents: Informed Consent and the Doctor's Duty of Disclosure - Medical Paternalism versus Patient Autonomy - The Patient's Right to Know - The Nature and Scope of and Restrictions to the Duty - A Comparative Survey.