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This article has been peer reviewed. It is published in Journal of American Academy of Dermatology.

Volume 70, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 366-368.

The published version is available at DOI: Copyright © Elsevier Inc.



A 39-year-old Spanish-speaking woman with limited English-language proficiency presents with her 13-year-old son to your private dermatology practice. Through her son, you learn the patient is worried about a mole that has significantly grown in size over the past 3 months. After examination, you recommend the nevus be biopsied to better evaluate it. However, you are barely able to communicate with the patient, and you suspect that her son is not interpreting everything you say based on his especially brief communications with her. To proceed with the biopsy, you must first obtain informed consent.

As the dermatologist, you should:

A. Do your best to convey the medical information yourself to obtain informed consent.

B. Allow her son to interpret the medical information so that you can obtain informed consent.

C. Use an office staff member who speaks some Spanish to help you obtain informed consent.

D. Call the language line and use a trained medical interpreter to help you obtain informed consent.

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