Two models of implementing informed consent

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Disclosure; *Ethics, Medical; Humans; *Informed Consent; *Models, Psychological; Moral Obligations; Patient Participation; Physician's Role; *Physician-Patient Relations; Risk Assessment; Sick Role; Social Values


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Services Research | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


The doctrine of informed consent has been controversial since its inception. In spite of the professed ideal of improving physician-patient communication, many commentators have argued that it interferes with the relationship. However, the problem may not be the doctrine itself but rather the manner in which it is usually implemented. This article describes two different ways in which informed consent can be implemented. The event model treats informed consent as a procedure to be performed once in each treatment course, which must cover all legal elements at that time. The process model, in contrast, tries to integrate informing the patient into the continuing dialogue between physician and patient that is a routine part of diagnosis and treatment. We suggest that the process model has many benefits.


Arch Intern Med. 1988 Jun;148(6):1385-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of internal medicine

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID