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Choice is hard

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 01 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:0

“There is considerable evidence that patients want more information and greater involvement [in medical decisions that affect them].” It doesn't follow, however, that providing the information, and eliciting informed choices, has to be easy.

Gwen Sayers and James Mair, for example, complain about a form their hospital has developed for seeking relatives' consent to an autopsy (p 521). The form leaves little room for “ambivalence, criticism, or later complaint.” But they are bothered by the human cost of asking relatives to consider the constituent parts of their loved ones—tissues, …

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