Fondazione Zoé

I don’t know if you’ve noticed how so-called “informed consent” is managed in hospitals…


obviously it won’t always be how I’m about to describe it, but…
You are given a sheet of paper to sign, not always by the doctor treating you or the person responsible on the ward, thinking of it as a formality to rush through. There is rarely any incentive to read it and think about it…even rarer does anyone try to explain it to you. On reading it we are immersed in bureaucratic language, which discourages any real comprehension. In substance, we sign and we are resigned to it. The true function of the consent therefore seems to be that of “protecting” not the patient, but the structures: the exact opposite of the intentions that were thought of when this principle (which in fact was the expression of a principle, not a formal act) was launched. In the end, today the patient and their relatives find themselves faced with a paradox. On one hand, they should be informed and aware; on the other, they should be passive and not cause problems.

Given that no one has the time to give a good explanation of what you have and how you will be treated, and that people find out what they can on the internet…all hell breaks loose! We’ve had enough of these patients who, because they’ve read some botch job on the internet try to argue and even criticise! Remember the good old days when the consultant and his mob of assistants visited “No. X” and discussed (in the irrelevant presence of the patient, who eavesdropped almost apologetically) the case with his assistants! For care establishments and patients something like the reception of immigrants is happening today. Everyone says that we need to be human and welcoming, as long as someone else deals with it. In the same way, we want patients who are aware and cooperate, but we don’t know who should help them to become such…as long as they don’t further complicate the difficult task of managing a hospital! And this worry is also a realistic one…
It is a story with no goodies or baddies!

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