Public Opinion Regarding Consent to Treatment

Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Vol. 41, pp. 112-116, 1993

Posted: 18 Sep 2017

See all articles by Peter A. Singer

Peter A. Singer

University of Toronto

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Jane Armstrong

Independent

Date Written: 1993

Abstract

This article examines public opinion regarding certain elements of consent: disclosure, advance directives, substitute decisions, emergency and advocacy, drawing on a randomly-selected sample of adults (n=1000) living in Ontario. With regard to disclosure, 33% of respondents said that a doctor should withhold information from a patient if asked to do so by the patient’s family. With regard to advance directives, 36% of respondents had had advance discussions with their families, and 12% had completed a living will. With regard to substitute decisions, 77% of respondents said that they would want their wishes followed if they were unable to make medical decisions for themselves; 58% wanted their spouse or partner to make such decisions for them. With regard to emergency treatment, 48% of respondents stated that a doctor should give a life-saving blood transfusion to an unconscious adult carrying a card stating that blood transfusion was against his or her religious beliefs. These data highlight the need to reconsider legislative provisions and/or target public education programs toward specific consent-related issues.

Suggested Citation

Singer, Peter A. and Choudhry, Sujit and Armstrong, Jane, Public Opinion Regarding Consent to Treatment (1993). Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Vol. 41, pp. 112-116, 1993. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3026331

Peter A. Singer

University of Toronto ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S 3G8
Canada

Sujit Choudhry (Contact Author)

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

Jane Armstrong

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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