The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 221–233 | Cite as

Reply to Walker: Ensuring Understanding and Intelligibility in Informed Consent

  • Víctor Durà-Vilà


In a recent and exciting article on informed consent, Tom Walker develops a proposal that, if shown to be right, would be extremely helpful and welcomed by those involved in matters of informed consent.1 Essentially, he suggests making a division between (a) the information that doctors and researchers must ensure is understood by patients and research participants, and (b) that which doctors and researchers only need to disclose.2 He then argues that, as a result of accepting this division, (1) the demands on doctors and researchers will be reduced, since they will only need to ensure understanding on the part of patients or research participants of a fraction of the items currently required for informed consent; and that (2) the empirical evidence showing that some of the information required for informed consent is not understood may be far less worrying than it otherwise might seem.

I will argue that neither (1) nor (2) obtain: accepting Walker’s recommendation will...


Empirical Evidence Research Participant Informed Choice Extra Step Inform Consent Procedure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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