Informed Consent From Whom?
Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 1997 Jun; 42(3): 161-164.
To obtain legally safe informed consent requires that the patient has a 'substantial understanding' of the proposed procedure and that the doctor obtaining the informed consent has sufficient knowledge to explain the nature of the procedure to the patient. In this paper we have shown that significant misunderstanding exists among non-specialist junior doctors of certain common orthopaedic procedures and conditions. Junior doctors often lack sufficient technical training to fully inform their patients and thus meet legal requirements. The implications of this are that the onus falls even more on specialists to ensure that their patients receive a more detailed explanation of the proposed intervention.