oa South African Medical Journal - From informed consent to shared decision-making - : editorial

Volume 104, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Morality in medicine was long dominated by paternalism: the belief that you could do almost anything to a patient as long as the principles of beneficence (best interests) and non-maleficence (no harm) were upheld. Kant and Mill reflected on autonomy and self-determination in philosophy, but it is only a century ago that the concept of informed consent, a strong expression of autonomy, was introduced into the law in the New York judgment quoted above.

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