The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 537–539 | Cite as

Revolutionizing Informed Consent: Empowering Patients with Certified Decision Aids

  • Thaddeus Mason PopeEmail author
  • Daniel Lessler

The doctrine of informed consent has been part of US law for decades. But it has failed to meaningfully empower patients to make diagnostic and treatment decisions that match their preferences [1]. Too frequently, clinicians misunderstand patient preferences and provide unwanted treatment.

Significant data illustrates the gap between theory and practice. For example, a 2014 study of patients scheduled for elective cardiac catheterization found that 88% of patients held fundamentally mistaken beliefs about the potential benefits of the procedure, despite having signed an informed consent document [2]. Similar examples abound. Only 19% of patients with colorectal cancer understood that chemotherapy was not likely to cure their cancer [3]. Only 10% of spine clinic patients could answer basic questions about their spinal surgery [4]. Only 5% of cancer patients understood essential aspects of their diagnosis [5]. Only 3% of patients scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention...


Shared Decision Medicaid Service Accountable Care Organization Chief Medical Officer Health Care Authority 
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Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Thaddeus Pope and Daniel Lessler declare no confllicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mitchell Hamline School of LawSaint PaulUSA
  2. 2.Washington Health Care AuthorityOlympiaUSA

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