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Word Count: 788
Medical consent has changed drastically throughout the past six decades The book The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot shows the vast contrast of medical consent compare to the 21st century standards and regulations In this book Skloot provides plenty of examples of how medical consent in 1951 affected a woman named Henrietta Lacks and deprived her from the options that are available now in the 21st century Skloot in her book talks about Henrietta lacks a poor African American woman who died in 1951 after battling cervical cancer at the age of 31 leaving behind five children Before her death researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore sampled her cells during a biopsy without her consent During this time there were no federal regulations requiring patient consent Medical consent was put into effect so that cases like Henriettas would not occur again Medical consent mostly referred as informed consent is a formal agreement that a patient signs to give permission for a medical procedure such as surgery after having been told about the risks benefits etc as stated in the Merriam- Webster online dictionary The ethical concept of inform consent contains two major elements the comprehension and the free consent Both of these elements together constitute an important part of the patients self- determination The comprehension of the consent is that the patient has been giving adequate information of their diagnosis prognosis and alternative treatment choices including the option of no treatment Medical consent gives the patient the freedom to decide whether or not to grant the physician or doctor the approval to perform medical procedures or use any parts of their body to conduct any further studies or research Informed consent forms did not require doctors to provide patients with adequate information which put many people like Henrietta in a position where they felt that they had no other choices or options therefore signing a paper not knowing
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