“The principle that a person must give permission before they receive any type of medical treatment, test or examination”.
Seeking patient consent prior to undertaking an examination or treatment is a fundamental ethical and legal requirement of you as a practitioner.
It is also a common courtesy and establishes an appropriate relationship of trust between you and the patient.
The principle of gaining consent demonstrates your respect for the patient’s autonomy and involvement in the decision making process.
“Touching a patient without their consent is, without lawful reason, capable of amounting to a charge of battery or trespass to the person.”
The Final Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry recommendations included the principle that the NHS and its staff must prioritise patients’ needs at all times, as well as being honest, transparent, and candid.
You must place the needs and values of patients and carers at the forefront of your service delivery.
It is recognised that all members of the diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy workforce are under a great deal of time pressure, but it is imperative that you are aware of the issues surrounding the process of gaining consent from patients.
The Society has published guidance for obtaining consent which includes 10 recommendations about:
The Obtaining consent document also includes an overview of the consent process adapted from The Royal College of Surgeons.