Bioethicists have become very interested in the
importance of social groups. This interest has spawned
a growing literature on the role of the family and the
place of culture in medical decisionmaking. These ethicists
often argue that much of medical ethics suffers from the
individualistic bias of the dominant culture and political
tradition of the United States. As a result, the doctrine of
informed consent has come under some scrutiny. It is believed
that therein lies the source of the problem because the
doctrine incorporates the assumptions of the larger society.
Thus, informed consent has been reexamined, reinterpreted, and
even abandoned as unworkable.