chapter  4
Byby Peggy Foster
Pages 20

Consent in the context of modern medicine is, according to Ian Kennedy ‘an ethical doctrine about respect for persons and about power. It seeks to transfer some power to the patient in areas affecting her self-determination, so as to create the optimal relationship between doctor and patient ... namely a partnership of shared endeavour in pursuit of the clients’ interests’.1 This view of doctors and patients as partners in a shared endeavour is clearly a modern version of the doctor-patient relationship which can be set against the more traditional paternalistic ‘doctor knows best’ approach to medical decision-making.