Consenting patients – what do we really need to tell them?

      Introduction: Consent issues are a major factor in litigation. Shortfalls often make defence of a claim difficult. Arguably this has been made more difficult with the relatively recent Montgomery ruling. Unfortunately current guidelines are subject to personal interpretation and application (i.e. what do we define as a “serious” complication and how common is “common”). Thus consenting for procedures can be problematic. Whilst a surgeon's perspective of relevant risks is important, the significance and likelihood of complications may be viewed differently by patients. We aimed to identify those risks patients may consider to be relevant and which should be routinely discussed. This study was undertaken for five common procedures.
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