New cases, new learnings

Consent to treatment is a complex and unpredictable field, in which laws are continuously changing in the light of new cases brought to the courts. In recent years, this is best demonstrated in the well-publicised case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board in 2015, which had a great impact on the world of consent law and the doctor-patient relationship.

How then can clinicians keep up to date in such an ever-changing medico-legal landscape? Here at EIDO we have the answer. Over the last three years we have released a free Annual Consent Review, now in its third edition. Focusing on notable court cases over the last four years in the wake of the Montgomery ruling, our Consent Review summarises recent cases, draws out the learnings and provides guidance for healthcare professionals attempting to navigate a turbulent era of consent law.

‘The cases reported in this review serve as a helpful reminder to clinicians as to what the law requires of them and what the courts will look at when assessing liability in consent cases.’

– Browne Jacobson (national law firm, experts in healthcare sector)

Patient-centred healthcare

As detailed in our latest Annual Consent Review, as the years pass and the Montgomery principles become more deeply entrenched in both attitudes and law, there are fewer cases coming before the courts about the principles outlined in the case, and fewer challenges are being made to the modern ‘patient-centred’ approach. [1]

Simon Parsons, Technical Director at EIDO Healthcare and Consultant General Surgeon at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, had this to say about consent to treatment and the position recent changes to law put practitioners in:

‘The new approach to consent is now unambiguously patient-centred, and healthcare professionals must learn how to adapt to it.’

Simon Parsons, ‘EIDO Annual Consent Review: Second Edition’, (2018) p. 1.

A greater understanding of notable cases which have come through the courts, and key learnings from them, will provide clinicians with a useful wealth of knowledge to provide their patients with the best possible care and avoid consent-related litigation claims.

Meet the author – Vivienne Harpwood

Professor of Law at Cardiff University, Vivienne established the ‘Legal Aspects of Medical Practice’ degree in 1987, unique within the United Kingdom and still attracting attention from students worldwide. Vivienne’s wide understanding of medical law also goes beyond the lecture theatre. Accredited author of several medical law books including the highly popular Modern Tort Law, now in its 7th edition, she also served on the UK Government’s NHS Complaints Review Committee. Their recommendations in 1994 formed the basis of the modern NHS Complaints Systems in all four UK jurisdictions.

In bringing in the finest medico-legal experts to compose our Annual Consent Review, we are providing an essential guide for clinicians looking to better themselves and their practice.

The 3rd edition (2019) of the Annual Consent Review can be emailed directly to you using the form on our website homepage, please click here.

Links to past reviews

Below are links to past editions of EIDO’s Annual Consent Review:

To download the 1st edition (2017) of the Annual Consent Review, click here.

To download the 2nd edition (2018) of the Annual Consent Review, click here.

[1] ‘EIDO Annual Consent Review: Third Edition’, (2019) p. 3.