I’ve reprinted below an excerpt from a journal article I’m referencing in my upcoming presentation at the Canadian Bioethics Society conference, in Vancouver. It’s pretty much my whole argument (that informed consent is a faulty notion), summed up simply in 2 paragraphs.
“Supposing that informed choice is possible, Foucault’s understanding of people also affects what information is needed in order to give informed choice. That information would include how cultural practices are endeavoring to form people and how various health care interventions further society’s aims. People’s personal concerns about their bodies are irrelevant from the point of view of society. That information, too, should be conveyed and understood.
Moreover, in such a social system as Foucault describes, one may argue that the practice of informed choice is misguided. It is not for the individual to give an informed choice since the individual’s body is appropriated by the power relations forming her. By pursuing informed choice practices, health care providers provide an ideological cover to the political technology of the body.”
Ells, Carolyn . “Foucault, Feminism, and Informed Choice.” Journal of Medical Humanities 24.3/4 (Winter 2003): 221. Print.