Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Critical Care Physicians Getting Surrogate Consent through Lying

Last July, I wrote about how some range of the high  (90%+) consensual resolution rate of end-of-life conflicts is illusory because the surrogates may consent based on incomplete information and understanding.  

A new study by David Brush and colleagues in Critical Care Medicine lends support to concern that some physicians deliberately misrepresent information in order to obtain surrogate consent to their proposed treatment plan.  This seems like a serious informed consent violation, especially in Wisconsin where physicians must often disclose options even if they think they are inappropriate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This comes as no surprise to me. When the issue is disability or a quality of life issue as opposed to true medical futility and there is a clash of values, how can the difference be resolved?

Consent obtained through unethical means is a short-sighted tactic. Should the family discover the physician's dishonesty, there is a resulting loss of trust and respect for the medical profession which is not quickly, if ever, restored.

Physician integrity is paramount to good quality healthcare.