Prominent Psychiatrist Calls for Written Informed Consent for All Meds

Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus at Duke University and the Chair of the DSM IV Task Force, has written that informed consent is a vital component to medical treatment and should be required, in writing, for all use of medication.  Dr. Frances finds that informed consent is particularly incomplete in the case of off-label use of medications (when the FDA has not approved use of the drug to treat the condition for which it is being prescribed).  He calls off-label use “the wild west of medicine.”  For people with dementia, who are often prescribed off-label antipsychotic and other drugs despite their known serious health risks, the wild west comes with a modern day Boot Hill (cemetery).  There is currently no law that explicitly requires prescribers to tell their patients when a drug prescribed is for an off-label use.  That’s just crazy.

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About achicotel

Anthony Chicotel is a staff attorney for CANHR. His areas of expertise include the rights of long-term care residents, nursing home litigation, health care decision-making, and conservatorships.
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Responses to CANHR blog postings do not reflect the opinions of CANHR or its staff members.

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