Informed Consent

Editors should protect the confidentiality of individual information (e.g. that obtained through the doctor–patient relationship). It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent from patients described in case reports and for photographs of patients. It may be possible to publish without explicit consent if the report is important to public health (or is in some other way important); consent would be unusually burdensome to obtain; and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication (all three conditions must be met).