Truth, trust and confidence in surgery, 1890 - 1910: Patient autonomy, communication and consent

Wilde, Sally (2009) Truth, trust and confidence in surgery, 1890 - 1910: Patient autonomy, communication and consent. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 83 2: 302-330. doi:10.1353/bhm.0.0212

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Author Wilde, Sally
Title Truth, trust and confidence in surgery, 1890 - 1910: Patient autonomy, communication and consent
Journal name Bulletin of the History of Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-5140
1086-3176
Publication date 2009-01-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1353/bhm.0.0212
Open Access Status
Volume 83
Issue 2
Start page 302
End page 330
Total pages 29
Editor Mary E. Fissell
Randall M. Packard
Place of publication America
Publisher The John Hopkins University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
Formatted abstract
During the late nineteenth century, there was a dramatic rise in the number of surgical procedures that doctors were prepared to attempt. This article discusses why there was also a rise in the number of people who were prepared to submit to all of these operations. Contrary to popular assumptions, many nineteenth- century patients did not lack effective autonomy. Their consent to surgery could not be taken for granted, especially as surgery was expensive compared with many other forms of treatment. Persuading patients that surgery could help them was an active process, and patients and their friends were often provided with pertinent information, especially in cases in which the doctors themselves had doubts about an operation. Faith in the theoretical possibility of safe surgery may have been just as important in contributing to doctors’ increased willingness to operate as any improvement in practical results. A key factor in the rising popularity of surgery with both doctors and patients was not so much better surgical results as it was confidence in the possibility of better surgical results and the ways in which this confidence was communicated from doctors to patients.
Keyword History of informed consent
Surgery
History
Doctor–patient relationship
Patient autonomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Publication date: Summer 2009.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 23 Apr 2010, 21:46:21 EST by Felicia Richards on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry