, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 679-682
Date: 18 Nov 2012

Can our understanding of informed consent be strengthened using the idea of cluster concepts?

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Informed consent is thought to exist as a well-defined entity. Altered concepts of patient autonomy, differential cultural understanding of the entity, and the failure of clients to distinguish between research and clinical ethics, and various hierarchical cultural views of informed consent all suggest that alterations may be needed in the traditional concept. By using the methodology outlined by Gasking in which he defines the idea of “cluster concepts,” one may be able to enlarge the definition and augment the understanding of the informed consent and include the time and culture-specific variants which exist.