The SAGE Handbook of Healthcare Ethics is an influential collection of work by leading scholars on the fundamental and emerging themes which define healthcare ethics. This authoritative Handbook brings together experts with backgrounds in philosophy, sociology, law, public policy and the health professions and reflects the increasing impact of globalization and the dynamic advances in the fields of bioscience and genetics, which keep ethics at the centre of debates about the future direction of healthcare. Combining international and interdisciplinary perspectives, the Handbook provides a cutting-edge account of debates in five key areas: Health Care Ethics in an Era of Globalization; Beginning and End of Life; Vulnerable Populations; Research Ethics and Technologies; Public Health and Human Rights

Informed Consent

Informed consent


In this chapter we first briefly discuss historical and moral reasons for obtaining informed consent for therapy and research. Second, we describe and critically evaluate the standard view on what this requirement implies. Third, we discuss some of the practical obstacles in the way of meeting the standard requirements and consider recent attempts to rethink informed consent.

Reasons for Informed Consent

Though it is now widely recognized as one of the cornerstones of the relationship between patient and healthcare professionals as well as between researchers and research participants, the requirement of informed consent for therapy and research is a recent phenomenon. A combination of three main factors contributed to the need to regulate research and to protect human participants. First, the bitter lessons learned ...

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