Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MENEGON, Vera Mincoff. Consenting to ambiguities: a documental analysis of informed consent forms used in assisted human reproduction clinics. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.3, pp. 845-854. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000300022.
With the field of assisted human reproduction as a case study, this article presents the results of a study on informed consent forms, linking the understanding of the use of social languages - especially the language of risk - and its implications on the relationship between health professionals and clients. Informed by a social psychology perspective and aligned with the qualitative tradition in research, the study was oriented by a theoretical approach to discursive practice, whereby the language of risk is understood as a way of speaking of future control of risks. The analysis centered on the text of 27 informed consent forms provided by eight Brazilian clinics. Besides understanding the linguistic specificities, the analysis attempted to answer the question, "What is being consented to?" The results showed the ambiguity of a document which presupposes the use of the metaphor of taking versus not taking risks. That is, the document may be used in a democratic, bureaucratic, or even authoritarian way, while the communication of risks and benefits subsidizes both the decision-making and the dilution of responsibility throughout the relational network.
Keywords : Informed Consent; Assisted Reproductive Techniques; Linguistics.