chapter  2
8 Pages

Consent

ByVictoria Tippett

The consent includes many areas of routine medical practice, from conducting an abdominal examination or measuring a patient's temperature to administering an injection, taking blood or performing an appendectomy. A patient needs to understand in broad terms the nature and purpose of the procedure for which they are being asked to consent. The informed consent is often glibly bandied around, whilst being poorly understood by patients and doctors alike. In order for a patient's consent to be informed, they must be aware of the nature of the procedure and any significant risks which would 'affect the judgement of a reasonable patient'. The ethical background to the issue of informed consent lies in respect for a patient's autonomy, where autonomy is the right of an individual to make their own decisions about any aspect of their life. A patient must be competent to consent to the particular treatment for their consent to be valid.