The impossibility of informed consent?

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The problematic nature of informed consent to medical treatment and research, and its relation to autonomy, trust and clinical practice, has been addressed on many occasions and from a variety of ethical perspectives in the pages of the Journal of Medical Ethics. This paper gives an account of how discussion of these issues has developed and changed, by describing a number of significant contributions to these debates which provide examples of ‘doing good medical ethics’ over the 40□years of the Journal's publication.

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