A patient has the right in law to give or withhold consent to medical examination or treatment. Before a patient can be treated valid consent must be obtained. If the health professional fails to obtain valid consent they will be accountable. Litigation is increasing in relation to consent issues. Consent is a complex area in itself and there is often confusion as to when consent issues should be recorded and how it is recorded. Before looking at consent in detail it is important for the health professional to understand their legal and professional obligations in the context of consent. Health professionals must be familiar with the law and must uphold the patient's rights. They must be aware of the issues of consent. The health professional must be aware that they are accountable for their actions. In addition, 'no win, no fee' arrangements in relation to the legal costs of pursuing a claim are widely publicised.