I'm all for decreasing the death rate for HIV -- especially now that new drugs mean that AIDS can be managed and that HIV+ diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence -- but this kind of disturbed me:
The written consent requirement, she said, has been a barrier in emergency rooms, where doctors often feel it interferes with more immediate needs.
Under the new initiative, hospital administrators in the Bronx have agreed to test in emergency rooms, while still following state consent law. Dr. Futterman said she had carefully constructed a script for doctors that follows state law but squeezes what is typically a 20-minute counseling and consent process into five minutes. A doctor with lots of experience could deliver the script in three minutes, she said, and her own record is one minute.
(From the Times' story on the new effort to test every adult living in the Bronx.)
Does "informed consent" really mean anything at all when the doctors take pride in explaining a complicated, potentially life-altering process in one minute? In a twentieth of the normal time?