INFORMED CONSENT

DailyPost 477

INFORMED CONSENT

Informed consent emanated from the domain of Medical Ethics, is getting into varied areas. It’s firstly because of the complexity of businesses; technology, profits, mindsets & secondly, the customer needs to understand the product / services & its terms. There is much beyond the written word. What is taken as a simple documentary rigmarole at the outset, may turn out to be your death knell. Impact is beyond sale / purchase but also on employee / employer relationship. The whole gamut of human life is getting affected.

Though fairness & transparency supposedly is the name of the game, an outlandish attempt to keep all levers of finance & power through withholding information, not giving full information, not allowing the customer to understand the full import of it / making it verbose & unnecessary long, through agreement, offer letters, consents, work contracts etc is underway. Ask the call canter for any senior employee’s number or the details of your credit ratings, opaqueness is the only answer. Companies know you threadbare.

Why can’t the companies / employers put all their relevant documents in the public domain, which would help the customer / user to make up his mind. At least one major step towards getting to know legality & legal credibility is sorted out. Advertisement based credibility has its own inbuilt handicaps as has been seen in the Maggi case. How human sentiments were put on sale for decades? The endless cases between landowners, builders & potential apartment owners is legendary. What is informed consent mean in this field?

In discussions on privacy / data protection act, consent fatigue has emerged as a concept. This fatigue has happened even without documents being understood, they consent to. The complexity of modern day data creation & data trade is not easy to understand. It can only happen if the companies decide it to make it happen. This would have immense impact on their profits & business comfort.

* REAL INFORMED CONSENT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A MIRAGE.*

Sanjay Sahay

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