Letters

When people would choose treatment has wide implications

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7267.1022/b (Published 21 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1022
  1. Tom Marshall, lecturer in public health medicine (MarshaTP@PCR-FS1.bham.ac.uk)
  1. University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

    EDITOR—Steel's paper on the thresholds for number needed to treat at which health professionals and lay people would choose treatment for hypertension is important.1 Only people with a particular condition can decide whether the inconvenience of treatment is worth the resulting reduction in risk. We cannot presume to know on their behalf. This view of personal autonomy is enshrined in the General Medical Council's advice on obtaining informed consent.

    Normally, if patients do not want to make a decision about treatment they …

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