Exploring informed consent in midwifery care

Madeley, Anna-Marie (2023). Exploring informed consent in midwifery care. British Journal of Midwifery, 31(6) pp. 352–355.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2023.31.6.352


One of the single most important tenets of healthcare ethics is that of informed consent. Situated in ethical, legal and human rights frameworks, informed consent at its core represents the ability to retain autonomy over one's bodily integrity and to decide freely who can and cannot touch them. While consent at its simplest means being able to say yes or no, facilitating informed consent requires a more nuanced understanding of a dynamic process that, for midwives and other healthcare professionals, might seem challenging. The aim of this article is to provide a brief introduction to historical context and key legal cases that set the foundations for that which constitutes informed consent. This article focuses on what ‘informed’ means in relation to consent and, importantly, aims to dispel myths around receiving informed consent in contemporary midwifery practice.

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