The law states that consent must be obtained from the patient before commencing treatment, physical investigation or personal care. Obtaining consent is also a fundamental part of good practice and good patient care. Consent is a complex issue and it is hardly surprising that health professionals may unintentionally treat a patient without valid consent, nevertheless the health professional will be accountable. Pressure from health professionals is a particular issue where the ethos of pro-life conflicts with the patient's right of self-determination. When seeking consent the health professional and the patient should work in partnership. Working in partnership with the patient will allow the patient to explore these kinds of issues and reach an informed decision. Coercion should be distinguished from providing the patient with appropriate reassurance concerning their treatment, or pointing out the potential benefits of treatment. A patient will make a decision based on their own reasons and values.