Informed consent in dentistry: a standard of good clinical practice

  • Maria Noel Marzano Rodrigues Petruzzi Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Lívia Haygert Pithan Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Maria Antonia Zancanaro de Figueiredo Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • João Batista Blessmann Weber Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Keywords: Dentistry, bioethical Issues, ethics, dental, informed consent, personal autonomy, practice management,


Respect for patient’s autonomy is a principle in healthcare highlighted in the Brazilian Professional Ethical Code of Dentistry and a desirable conduct in every day clinical practice. Informed consent comprises the professional duty of inform all the possible risks, benefits and alternatives for proposed clinical procedures, even for diagnosis or treatment, to the patient. This process is considered a clue for personal autonomy and discloses that they are value options made in the dental clinic context. In health care decision making the best course of action is that one which allies a correct clinical judgment and patient’s personal interest based on cultural and socio-economics issues. However, despite informed consent process being a proper conduct, dental assistance in Brazil continues to be guided by a paternalistic approach. Moreover, the misuse of contracts of adhesion as surrogates of informed consent is not unusual in dental assistance. The present literature review discusses the informed consent process as a prerequisite for mediating the professional/patient relationship in the contemporary clinical practice that ensures patient’s to make an informed decision.

Author Biographies

Maria Noel Marzano Rodrigues Petruzzi, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Postgraduate Program in Dentistry Oral Medicine Unit MSc, PhD Student
Lívia Haygert Pithan, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Law Faculty Assistant Professor PhD
Maria Antonia Zancanaro de Figueiredo, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Postgraduate Program in Dentistry Oral Medicine Unit Associate Professor PhD
João Batista Blessmann Weber, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Postgraduate Program in Dentistry Associate Professor PhD


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Literature Review