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Article: Volume 44 Number 2 Page 109 - February 2017

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  Dent Update 2017; 44: 109-113

Risk Management:  Informed Consent- What’s New?

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Abstract: Informed consent has long been tried in the English courts using the Bolam test. This primarily tested the degree of professional negligence against the collective opinions of medical professionals. This principle is now considered outdated and the test of materiality now gives the individual patient shared decision-making during the consent process. Obtaining valid consent that will stand in a court of law and hold strong now involves a little more thought and time from the prudent dentist.

Clinical relevance: Obtaining valid consent is an extremely important risk minimizing application of time for a skilled health care professional (HCP). If undertaken skilfully it can lead to improved patient satisfaction, minimize patient complaints and ultimately lessen the risk of practising HCPs having a negligence case brought against them.

Author notes: Claire Louise Bayliss, PgDip ClinPharm, MPharm, BDS Year 5 Student, King’s College London, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK (claire.bayliss@kcl.ac.uk).

Objective: To understand how informed consent, in the past and currently, is tried under professional ethics and in a civil court of law.