Clearly argued and written in nontechnical language, this book provides a definitive account of informed consent. It begins by presenting the analytic framework for reasoning about informed consent found in moral philosophy and law. The authors then review and interpret the history ofinformed consent in clinical medicine, research, and the courts. They argue that respect for autonomy has had a central role in the justification and function of informed consent requirements. Then they present a theory of the nature of informed consent that is based on an appreciation of itshistorical roots. An important contribution to a topic of current legal and ethical debate, this study is accessible to everyone with a serious interest in biomedical ethics, including physicians, philosophers, policy makers, religious ethicists, lawyers, and psychologists. This timely analysismakes a significant contribution to the debate about the rights of patients and subjects.