Corrigan describes her feelings toward informed consent in a medical environment. She does a number of interviews and a lot of research to try to fill in what she calls the “empty ethics” surrounding this issues. A lot of thinking on this issue is…
Consent, for them, is not real consent. For other patients, having the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial was empowering.
At the end of her study, Dr. Corrigan reflects that she will reconsider her own methods which are mainstream regarding informed consent. She believes her practice will improve because of this. Doctors clearly need to take into full account the ethical dimensions of their patients choices and consent.
I found this to be a very interesting article. It was topical. I was especially interested in what Dr. Corrigan wrote in relation to pharmaceutical trials and companies. These days there is a lot of controversy over the political, medical, and cultural influence of pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical companies. Because this is now a big business, people are concerned that certain ethical standards may be being replaced by a nasty business sense. There have been some accusations of influence on doctors and other health professionals through drug representatives and salespeople, including the giving of gifts to doctors, paying for and sponsoring conferences, for example. Doctors are often hired and paid to sit on the boards of various pharmaceutical companies thus providing an appearance of medical credibility to a company or product that may not independently possess it. The pharmaceutical industry also has thousands of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., that lobby Congress and try protect their own interests and weaken laws that might limit their profit or make it more expensive and difficult to sale drugs. We need doctors to stand up and be ethical and to inform their patients about their involvement. Dr. Corrigan writes that when doctors request that patients participate in studies of a research nature, patients can feel manipulated or betrayed (781). This is a very negative consequence with ethical implications that must be considered from both the point of view of the patient and of the ...
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