Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Americans fail to receive recommended care roughly half the time, reflecting poor decision making that threatens their health. This Article offers an innovative solution: require physicians to disclose clinical practice guideline recommendations to patients during informed consent. Behavioral economics suggest that insisting physicians and patients discuss guidelines, before deviating from them, could be surprisingly effective at nudging more rational care choices. At the same time, such disclosure should also educate and empower patients, serving autonomy.

Previous scholarship on unwarranted variances in care has focused primarily on malpractice reforms, largely ignoring the role of cognitive bias and the importance of patients receiving empirically based, consensus recommendations. This Article provides important new analysis of the connection between cognitive bias in physician decision making and practice guidelines. It offers key insights on aligning informed consent with patient autonomy and begins an important dialogue on elevating the salience of guidelines, thereby improving physician-patient decision making practices.

Publication Title

Nevada Law Journal

First Page