Let's define informed consent as it pertains to vaccination.
Here is a basic list, courtesy of AMA:
- The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;
- The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;
- Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance);
- The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure; and
- The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.
Patients also have the right to ask questions.
I am going to work on the assumption everyone thinks informed consent is a good thing.
Does informed consent mean all risks and benefits have to be explained? Is that possible and should that be the goal?
I read a Canadian article (really good read, for those interested in such thingshttp://www.cmpa-acpm.ca/cmpapd04/docs/resource_files/ml_guides/consent_guide/com_cg_informedconsent-e.cfm) that said doctors had to disclose risks that reasonable people in that position would want to know. Who gets to define what is reasonable? I might think it is reasonable to know a one/10 000 risk; others may not. I may think current prevalence rates of diseases are important, but the CDC informations sheets (at least this one:http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mmr.pdf) does not list it.
What about the fact that many of the studies we base our vaccine decisions on are funded by pharmaceutical companies - do people need to know that for informed consent to take place?
What do you think?