Informed consent is a mandatory document in human subject research protocols. Its principles have been recently established in the history of Medicine, and the first official document to establish the need for an informed consent from the research subject was the Nuremberg Code (1947). All following documents confirmed that the informed consent is mandatory in human subject research. However, the informed consent, which represents patients' autonomy or self-determination regarding their relationship with their physicians, took a while to be included in medical care practice and medical deontology codes. The convenience of using the informed consent in medical practice is widely discussed today, especially in rheumatology. Our opinion is that the obligation of a signed informed consent provided by the patient for every medical procedure is neither reasonable nor practical. It should be used for more invasive or risky therapeutic procedures. We understand that the informed consent does not guarantee that the patient has been fully informed, which is an essential condition for the current rheumatological practice. Its adoption in routine medical care practice would make medical intervention bureaucratic, and, thus, quite different from the Hippocratic view, which considered the trustful physician-patient relationship fundamental for an adequate medical care practice.
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