Informed Consent and Health
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Informed Consent and Health

A Global Analysis

Edited by Thierry Vansweevelt and Nicola Glover-Thomas

Informed consent is the legal instrument that purports to protect an individual’s autonomy and defends against medical arbitrariness. This illuminating book investigates our evolving understanding of informed consent from a range of comparative and international perspectives, demonstrating the diversity of its interpretations around the world. Chapters offer a nuanced analysis of the problems that impede the understanding and implementation of the concept of informed consent and explore the contemporary challenges that continue to hinder both the patient and the medical community.
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Chapter 3: Re-examining the Canadian law of informed consent to medical treatment in the age of informatics

Miriam Pinkesz, Gabriel Marrocco, Yann Joly and Ma’n H. Zawati

Abstract

Canadian medical law orbits in a constellation of diverse legal influences spanning the course of the country’s legislative historical development. The provision of healthcare in Canada is characteristically decentralized, with 13 individual models of provincial and territorial healthcare policies that share overarching standards defined by federal statute. This chapter examines the laws of consent to medical treatment in Canada as well as related physician obligations, such as duties of disclosure and associated exceptions, medical liability and emerging challenges to informed consent. In this chapter, we present a comparative overview of the dominant legal scheme in both the common and civil law in Canada, approaching such review through the lens of developments in informatics as well as medical research and clinical practice. Our objective is to underscore how the laws of informed consent are shaped by the dynamic and ever-expanding medical field, and how this requires constant scrutiny guided by legal deference to scientific, medical, ethical, and administrative experts on technical matters.

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