Obtaining appropriate and informed consent from patients is an integral part of provision of quality health care. Doctors are bound to obtain consent in a manner that is legally and ethically acceptable. The methods employed to train junior doctors in these principles vary from organisation to organisation and the knowledge base of both senior and junior clinicians is far from consistent. This paper raises some of the issues in relation to current practice and teaching and suggests ways in which the process can be improved – largely by introducing some basic standards that should be built on as expertise and skill develop. The author discusses the need for dissemination of information with regard to current national claims experience and the possibility of introducing the subject of consent into postgraduate examinations in a more widespread way.
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