Informed consent - as an ethical ideal and legal doctrine - has been the source of much concern to clinicians. Drawing on a diverse set of backgrounds and two decades of research in clinical settings, the authors - a lawyer, a physician, a social scientist, and a philosopher - help clinicians understand and cope with their legal obligations and show how the proper handling of informed consent can improve , rather than impede, patient care. Following a concise review of the ethical and legal foundations of informed consent, they provide detailed, practical suggestions for incorporating informed consent into clinical practice. This completely revised and updated edition discusses how to handle informed consent in all phases of the doctor-patient relationship, use of consent forms, patients' refusals of treatment, and consent to research. It comments on recent laws and national policy, and addresses cutting edge issues, such as fulfilling physician obligations under managed care. This clear and succinct book contains a wealth of information that will not only help clinicians meet the legal requirements of informed consent and understand its ethical underpinnings, but also enhance their ability to deal with their patients more effectively. It will be of value to all those working in areas where issues of informed consent are likely to arise, including medicine, biomedical research, mental health care, nursing, dentistry, biomedical ethics, and law.