Healthcare Professional Standards in Pandemic Conditions: The Duty to Obtain Consent to Treatment

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This article explores whether the legal duty on healthcare practitioners to disclose the material risks of a proposed medical treatment to a patient should be upheld during pandemic conditions, or whether the pre-eminence of patient autonomy should be partly sacrificed in such exceptional circumstances. We argue that measures to protect public health and to respect autonomous decision-making are not mutually exclusive, and that there are good reasons to maintain professional standards in obtaining consent to treatment even during acute pressures on public health systems.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Aug 2020