Matthew Gaisford
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 9, Iss. 2, 03 Feb 2017, pp 80 - 85

Informed consent is a concept that has grown in importance over the last 40
years. It is now a key concept in modern healthcare practice and underpins all
patient encounters. Any consent to assessment or treatment should be gained
in an informed manner and failing to do so can lead the clinician open to
accusations of negligence. Despite this many clinicians have only a vague or
incorrect understanding of the concept of informed consent and what does, and
does not, constitute it. The following article attempts to clarify the latest thinking
in English law regarding informed consent drawing largely from the United
Kingdom Supreme Court (UKSC) ruling on the subject in 2015. There then
follows a discussion of a number of areas where paramedic practice in particular
may be failing to meet modern standards of informed consent. It will be argued
that consent in paramedic practice is often poorly sought and documented and
that paramedic practice often becomes 'defensive' and in doing so fails to meet
the required standards for informed consent.

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