Revisiting informed consent

Cornock, Marc (2020). Revisiting informed consent. Orthopaedic & Trauma Times, 38 pp. 29–42.



This article is based on a previous article entitled ‘informed consent’ (Cornock 2015) which was published in this journal in 2015. The abstract of that article is as follows: consent is a fundamental aspect of healthcare; yet what is consent and what aspects of consent do you need to consider before treating a patient? There are three aspects to legally valid consent. The aim of this article is to consider each so that the consent you obtain from your patients is legally valid.

This article shares the same aim; to consider the three aspects of legally valid consent so that consent that is obtained from a patient is in fact legally valid consent in each and every instance that it is needed.

The reason for revisiting the original article is that shortly after it was published the judgment in a medical law case was handed down by the Supreme Court. This case, Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015], has subsequently become a landmark case not only in terms of the law around consent but in medical law in general. The article as published was not able to consider the implications of that landmark case due to the timing of publication. In the five years since publication of the original article it has become apparent that the section on ‘information giving’ has needed a revision and update to address the judgment from the Montgomery case.

Rather than write and publish a totally new article on the same topic of consent, the decision has been made to revisit, revise, and update the original in terms of the section on information that needs to address the judgment in the Montgomery case but to keep as much of the original article as is possible, whilst also addressing a few minor niggles in the original, and undertaking a general update as well.

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