Dr Malik: Ethics of Consent

A great description of how consent might be handled is given in the article.

If it was a “cherished gold coin” that the patient might wish to give the right doctor, at the right time given a good reason to do so, then any doctor caught trying to snatch it quickly would be considered a thief!

BMJ 2009;339:b3224 (Published 27 August 2009)
BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2192(Published 19 March 2014)
BMJ 2014;348:g2192
J R Soc Med. Feb 2007; 100(2): 97–100.

I read with interest Dr Sokol in the BMJ. He has written about consent repeatedly in 2005,2009 and 2014- that is in the BMJ alone. His articles and the comments in the BMJ ON LINE, make useful reading for doctors and patients alike.

1. “Consenting the patient”. It is not a procedure, the doctor is not DOING it to the patient. The correct English is “obtaining a patients’ consent”. This means the patient has taken active part in the decision

2. Proper consent is a process that includes PARQ.
-Procedure- what is to be done
-Alternatives- including doing nothing
-Risks- best read at leisure in a leaflet, but any risk greater that 1% must be mentioned. Some serious risks less frequent than that will be needed.
-Questions- ample time for issues to be discussed
Has the doctor gone through all of these and documented this?

3. The patient information sheet should be read and documented on the consent form. This provides far more information that might be covered in a 2 minute form-signing exercise.

4. Who should do it? Someone who can do the procedure OR is specifically trained to take consent for that procedure.

5. How long is it valid for? There is no time limit if the patients condition has not changed.

Posted on 23 March 2014
Author: LCC
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