Informed consent: More than just a signature

By Thomas B. Fleeter, MD

Take advantage of the opportunity to build a relationship

When asked to define informed consent, many orthopaedic surgeons may instead reply, “I’ll know it when I see it.” Despite the many articles on the issue, widespread misunderstanding of what constitutes informed consent and how to provide it still exists. Although orthopaedic surgeons can all agree about what informed consent is not, the optimal method for fully informing patients about the procedures they are about to undergo and the risks associated with them is not well defined.

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