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Aust N Z J Surg. 1995 Apr;65(4):224-8.

Informed consent in Australia.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, St Vincent's Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Recent decisions in Australian courts affirm three important principles relating to consent to therapy. First, patients must be appropriately and adequately informed. Second, the scope and detail of the information supplied should be based on the reasonable patient's need to know rather than on the actions of the reasonable doctor. Third, the doctor must take care to ensure that the information imparted is understood by the patient. This publication reviews the basis of informed consent and traditional beneficent-style consent. The occasions when beneficence is more appropriate are outlined.

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