Thoughts on the State of Informed Consent

October 8, 2009

What utter, utter rot is the vast majority of what passes for ``consent'' nowadays. All the consent of a Greek sacrificial lamb, made to nod its head before being offered up to the gods. Indeed, all the consent of Persephone in the rapturous hands of Pluto. Do you want medical care? Then sign these documents letting us disclose your information. Do you want to apply to our university? Then tell us your social security number. Fancy a drink? Then show us your personal-information-laden driver's license. Flying? Yes, your papers, friend. And so we get back to this misbegotten notion that information disclosure is at some point voluntary. We are compelled and required to present our identification and information at innumerable junctures today. My information is disclosed with my consent -- see, I voluntarily signed the HIPPA form.