The Montgomery case: Informed Consent

Informed consent after the “Montgomery Ruling”

Consent for a procedure is a process rather than a signature on a piece of paper. Has the Montgomery ruling changed what happens in courts in the UK? Yes and no. It is not as bad as doctors feared, as they had interpreted it as ” you must disclose any risk that the patient might have though relevant”. That was a challenge without telepathic powers.

In reality, the current article  says:

Patients are not always aware of the facts of their treatment after consent related discussions, and they are influenced by the way in which information is presented (the “framing effect”).  …it shows that the communication process has a strong influence on how patients understand, remember, and evaluate information—all of which are essential to informed consent. The doctor’s role is to ensure that relevant information is presented to enable the patient to use it meaningfully.

Conclusions: The Montgomery case was framed as a clash of values—patient autonomy versus medical paternalism. In reality, medical decision making involves a nuanced negotiation of information.

Posted on 18 May 2017
Author: LCC
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