Legal Standards for Informed Consent
The core of the controversy over informed consent is the choice of a standard by which informed consent is judged. Physicians argue, correctly, that they have always talked to patients about proposed treatments. It is not talking to patients that they object to; it is the court’s intrusion into what is said. Many states have sought to minimize this intrusion by adopting disclosure standards based on physician expectations: the community standard. Other states have adopted standards based on patient expectations: the reasonable-person standard.