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Painful procedures without informed consent : a growing dilemma in healthcare for the elderly

As our patients become older and less able to give informed consent we are going to have to address this issue in greater detail. Every disease has a treatment. We are used to analysing the ratio of discomfort to benefit for our patients, but the more I treat such ‘very’ elderly patients, the greater the weight I give to the present rather than future state of health with which we choose to justify pain.

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