Unit 6



Interconnection of principles

a. The principle of consent is based on the principle of human dignity and human rights
b. The principle of consent is a practical specification of the principle of autonomy and individual responsibility
c. If the principle of consent cannot be applied, the provisions of Article 7 (“Persons without the capacity to consent”) are applicable.

What is the purpose of the principle of consent?

a. The principle of consent principle aims to achieve several objectives:
i. it asserts the patient’s autonomy;
ii. it protects his/her status as a human being;
iii. it prevents coercion and deception;
iv. it encourages the doctor’s self-criticism;
v. it supports the process of rational decision-making;
vi. it educates the public at large.

Interrelation between consent and autonomy

a. Human dignity is an end in itself.
b. Equality in dignity of all human beings.
c. Respect and care.
d. The interests and welfare of the individual are prior to the sole interest of society.

Explanation of the principle

a. Medical intervention includes diagnosis, treatment, prevention, rehabilitation and palliation
b. What is prior, free and informed consent?
c. What is adequate information?
d. What is express consent?
e. Withdrawal of consent
f. Compare the provisions for consent in scientific research with those for medical interventions
g. Consent by individual, group and community


Clockwork Orange / (Stanley Kubrick, 1985)

Alex is a young man who devotes his days to misstreat, assault and hurt people with his group of friends with no other apparent reason than pure enjoyment. In one of the attacks, Alex kills a woman and is sentenced to 14 years in prison. AFter two years there he learns that there is "a treatment that takes you out of prison and makes you never ever ever do such thing again". He checks it with the priest that helps in prison and he says that it is called the "Ludovico technique" and, according to what he had understood, was in phase of experimentation and hauling certain dangers. The Minister of the Interior goes to the prison in search of a prisoner who has the propper characteristics to receive this treatment. Alex manages to be chosen. Before getting out of prison he is introduced to the director, who gives him a document and says: "Sign there, next to the cross". Alex begins to read and the guard tells him: "Do not read, just sign". The director announces: "Sign that you voluntarily agree to receive the Ludovico treatment in exchange for your sentence".

Ethical issues
Self-determination, disclosure, scope of treatment, responsibility in professional relationship with the consultant.