Alongside the four pillars of medical ethics, the three C’s of medical ethics (confidentiality, consent and capacity) are a foundation
All around the globe, doctors have the ethical and legal duty to gain consent from patients before any medical interventions. This may be oral or may take the form of written consent (which is usually the case for the more serious medical interventions, such as operations or tests). As mentioned above, consent may also be implied.
Consent is vital to ensure nothing is done against patients' will, and that they can feel comfortable and respected, all of which work to increase patients' trust towards healthcare professionals and the NHS.
There are a number of factors that need to be met for consent to be valid. A valid consent has to be:
Hence, before giving consent, any procedure, investigation or treatment should always be discussed between the doctor and the patient to ensure all of the above are fulfilled. In case of more serious medical interventions, patients should be given information leaflets and enough time to think the decision through.