Mayo Skipped Written Consent

By Walter F Roche, Jr. | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 2, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Mayo Skipped Written Consent

Walter F Roche, Jr., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The famed Mayo Clinic has implemented informed-consent procedures after Minnesota officials cited the clinic for failing to obtain federally mandated written permission from patients undergoing major surgical procedures, including organ transplants.

According to the 13-page complaint issued by the Minnesota Department of Health, a review of 12 cases at a Mayo facility in Rochester, Minn., showed that none of the patients who underwent major procedures gave written consent.

Under long-standing policy, Mayo physicians told regulators they obtained oral consent from patients and noted that in patient records.

Mayo spokesman Brian Anderson said the clinic now is complying with federal requirements.

George Annas, a professor of medical ethics at Boston University, said written permission and discussions with the surgeon are important to ensure that the patient has given informed consent to a major procedure.

"The key is that the patient knows what is going to happen and what the risks are," said Annas, noting the wording of the consent form needs to be understandable.

The state inspection found Mayo Clinic records "revealed that the physician documentation of the content of the informed consent varied widely."

Under federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations, written consent must be obtained prior to major procedures, and a copy must be in the patient's medical file. The requirement has been in place for more than two decades.

Federal officials said they were not aware of any other recent cases in which a major medical facility was out of compliance with the written-consent requirements.

The Mayo Clinic citation was the result of an on-site inspection May 22. The inspection followed a complaint filed by Minnesota attorney David B. Ketroser, who represents a Mayo patient. A federal lawsuit filed by that patient is pending.

In the report, state inspectors said Mayo officials told them they "didn't agree with the federal definition of written consent."

"There is no written surgical consent," one administrator told inspectors.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Mayo Skipped Written Consent


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?