A study of the opinions and behaviors of physicians with regard to informed consent and refusing treatment

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Ataç A., Guven T., Uçar M., Kir T.

Military Medicine, vol.170, no.7, pp.566-571, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 170 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.7205/milmed.170.7.566
  • Journal Name: Military Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.566-571
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


Objective: To examine the opinions and the self-reported behaviors of physicians regarding the issues of informed consent and refusing treatment. Design: This study was performed between July and September 2003, with 51 physicians selected by simple random sampling. The data were collected by using a questionnaire. Setting: A training hospital of medicine faculty. Participants: Fifty-one clinicians working in the branches of internal medicine and surgery. Results: Although the majority (80.4%) of the participants think that information about diagnosis and treatment should always be disclosed to patients, 60.8% reported that they always disclose information about the diagnosis and 49% did the same for information about treatment. A total of 84.3% think that patients' consent should always be obtained before diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, whereas 47% reported that they always obtain consent in their clinical practice. It was also seen that physicians have doubts concerning the comprehension of the information they disclose to their patients. In addition, most (86.3%) of the participants think that a competent patient always has the right to refuse treatment, regardless of the disease and the outcomes. Conclusions: Although opinions favoring the duties implied by informed consent are in the majority, these do not always reflect the behaviors in daily clinical practice, and there may be problems in carrying out the duties implied by the elements of informed consent. Some recommendations that could be beneficial in addressing these problems are presented at the end of the study. Copyright © by Association of Military Surgeons of U.S., 2005.