Informed Consent is crucial in the field of medicine and science so that patients or subjects know of the consequences that could arise from a certain procedure or research. Without this framework of consent put in place to allow patients to be autonomous with their decisions, or at least most of their decisions if they are able to make such a decision, the results could be catastrophic.
In the article “The Concept of Informed Consent” by Ruth Faden and Tom Beauchamp, two very clear views of consent were distinguished. These views include autonomous authorization and informed consent as effective consent, or otherwise known as sense1 and sense2 respectively.
Sense1, or autonomous authorization, takes into effect when a patient provides more than an expressed agreement with, or the patient complies, with an arrangement or proposal. The patient would need to actively authorize the professional to move forward with a procedure or research. Sense1 also contains four acts in which the patient is required to follow. These acts include; (1) Substantial understanding (2) Substantial absence of control by others (3) Intentional compliance (4) authorization of a professional. Without the complete actions of one through four, the consent becomes obsolete and is no longer under the branch of informed consent. A patient may abide by the first three steps, but without the fourth, the consent no longer follows such rules set by autonomous authorization and that is what distinguishes informed consent as a kind of autonomous action.
Sense2, or informed consent as effective consent, stated as a “…policy-oriented sense whose conditions are not derivable solely from analysis of autonomy and authorization…” (Faden and Beauchamp). This sense is based on a legally or institutionally effective authorization, and it focuses on regulating the behavior of the professional and it also establishes rules and procedures for the consent of the patient or subject.
Lastly, the article mentions shared decisionmaking between the professional and the patient, and this form of decisionmaking is unethical. This form is unethical due to the manipulative properties and may distort the patient’s views and decisions causing them to possibly make a decision that was unintentional in the first place. Without the framework of informed consent from both senses, the medical and scientific field would be filled with unethical, and morally questionable, practices, completely demolishing the patient or subject and professional relationship.