Informed consent without bureaucracy.
A comparison is drawn between informed consent in medicine and consenting practices in other areas of human activity, and an underlying conceptual unity is detected in all of these consenting practices. We insist on obtaining consent, in medicine and elsewhere, because of the value we place on personal autonomy. The conceptual unity of informed consent and consenting practices outside of medicine is defended against a series of objections. On the basis of the comparison with consenting practices in other areas of human activity, it is argued that bureaucratic informed consent processes in medicine are both unnecessary and unwarranted.