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Informed Consent

When obtaining informed consent, the physician is expected to present an unbiased view of the proposed treatment, presenting the risks as well as the benefits. While this informed consent is important, the most important decision is which treatments to recommend. If the physician's impartiality in the selection of treatments is compromised, then providing the patient with information about the compromised choice is meaningless. This problem is most extreme in the managed care plans that request the physician not to inform the patient about alternative treatments or tests. This benefits the plan by preventing patient complaints about being denied alternative treatments. It completely defeats informed consent, however, and leaves the physician in an indefensible posture if the patient is injured.


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