What is it about?

Informed consent and shared-decision making are key to the relationship between patient and physician. In many states and the U.K. informed consent is defined as what a 'reasonable patient' wishes to know. Through a national survey in the U.S., we discovered that participants wanted to know far more information than is generally given to patients before invasive procedures. Our findings will inform patients and physicians about information that should be communicated during shared-decision making. This has ethical and legal implications.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Patients facing the possibility of an invasive medical procedure or use of risky drugs are seldom provided with sufficient information to make fully informed decisions about thier care. Through our survey, we have defined what a 'reasonable patient' wants to know. Patients will discover the questions they must ask to become informed,and physicians will find the questions they must address to allow patients to make informed decisions. This is the basis necessary for shared-decision making.


My colleagues and I performed this research with the goal of better protecting patients in the USA from dangerous and unnecessary procedures and drugs. Each of us has struggled to protect a family member from misguided medical care that nearly cost the lives of mothers and did cost the life of a son. Patient advocates who use our questions to protect a family member may well save thier life.

john james

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Informed consent, shared-decision making and a reasonable patient’s wishes based on a cross-sectional, national survey in the USA using a hypothetical scenario, BMJ Open, July 2019, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-028957.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page