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Consent for Invasive Procedures in the Newly Deceased-Reply

Robert McNamara, MD
JAMA. 1995;274(2):129. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530020046026.
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In Reply.  —Drs Brattebø and Wisborg raise an interesting point about practicing procedures on living patients. However, consent forms for surgery and other procedures are usually worded in such a way that the attending physicians "may utilize assistants" as they see fit. In my practice, this is how many such teaching activities are justified on living patients. I do agree that in circumstances such as the resuscitation of a dying patient, this is a gray area, and the patient and family are often unaware of what actually transpires.On the other hand, I do not think that having a narrow majority of patient families in the studies1 agree to such teaching activities creates a clear mandate to allow for presumed consent for endotracheal intubation. Ideally, a policy should be crafted that all levels of the health care team would be aware of and support. Input into such a policy


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