Consent: Supported Decision-Making
In 2015, the ruling of the UK Supreme Court in Scotland in the case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board fundamentally changed the practice of consent. According to the Judges in this case, doctors are no longer the sole arbiter of determining what risks are material to their patients. They should not make assumptions about the information a patient might want or need but they must take reasonable steps to ensure that patients are aware of all risks that are material to them.
The RCS has developed guidance on consent that sets out the principles for working with patients through a process of supported decision-making, and a series of podcasts that illustrate those principles in practice.
Listen to the podcast
Episode 1: The first podcast in the series discusses the main principles of the Montgomery ruling and includes a dramatisation based on two real medicolegal case studies involving consent, illustrating the important shifts in practice that are now required to work within the law. Download a transcript of Episode 1.
Episode 2: This episode discusses the benefits of this change beyond the law, and explores some of the ethical challenges of the judgement for surgeons. Download a transcript of Episode 2.
Episode 3: This third and final episode discusses how surgeons can ease the transition and consider some of the practical implications for surgeons’ professional life. Download a transcript of Episode 3.
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