Obtaining informed consent has typically become a stylized ritual of presenting and signing a form, in which physicians are acting defensively and patients lack control over the content and flow of information, leaving patients at risk both for being under-informed relative to their decisional needs and of receiving more information than they need or desire. By personalizing the process of seeking and receiving information and allowing patients to specify their desire for information in a prospective manner, we aim to shift genuine control over the informational process to patients. A new paradigm of Information on Demand, such as we suggest, would also enhance legal certainty, achieve greater congruence between the information patients want and the information they receive, and promote more meaningful patient-physician interactions, a desirable outcome that has been difficult to achieve by other means.
Paul S. Appelbaum, Richard J. Bonnie & Gil Siegal, Personalized Disclosure by Information on Demand: Attending to Patients’ Needs in the Informed Consent Process, 40 Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics 359–367 (2012).