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Consent and informational responsibility

Pattinson, Shaun D.

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The notion of “consent” is frequently referred to as “informed consent” to emphasise the informational component of a valid consent. This article considers aspects of that informational component. One misuse of the language of informed consent is highlighted. Attention is then directed to some features of the situation in which consent would not have been offered had certain information been disclosed. It is argued that whether or not such consent is treated as sufficiently informed must, from a moral point of view, take account of four conditions. When these are applied to the operation of consent in relation to criminal responsibility for HIV transmission, the approach in some recent cases is shown to be morally questionable.


Pattinson, S. D. (2009). Consent and informational responsibility. Journal of Medical Ethics, 35(3), 176-179.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2009
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2012
Publicly Available Date Sep 12, 2012
Journal Journal of Medical Ethics
Print ISSN 0306-6800
Electronic ISSN 1473-4257
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 3
Pages 176-179


Accepted Journal Article (120 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Journal of medical ethics. The definitive copyedited, typeset version Pattinson, Shaun D. (2009) 'Consent and informational responsibility.', Journal of medical ethics., 35 (3). pp. 176-179 is available online at:

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