Jay KatzFollow

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The President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research ("President's Commission" or "Commission"), in its report on Making Health Care Decisions ("Report"),l proclaimed its underlying message in memorable words:

[T]he Commission attempts to shift the terms of the discussion toward how to foster a relationship between patients and professionals characterized by mutual participation and respect and by shared decisionmaking. The Commission believes such a shift in focus will do better justice to the realities of health care and to the ethical values underlying the informed consent doctrine.

Such sentiments constitute a bold move to imprint on physicians, patients, and society the Commission's moral vision of how doctors and patients should make joint decisions in the future.

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