Issue Three

Assessing the Tort Framework for Liability within Medical Negligence in the United Kingdom

Assessing the Tort Framework for Liability within Medical Negligence in the United Kingdom 

Author:

Kellie Morwood

Queen’s University Belfast

 

Abstract

 

Patient autonomy is regarded as one of the most valuable attributes of modern medical jurisprudence, therefore, the consideration of maternity care serves as an excellent window to examine the doctrine of informed consent, and its evolution in the UK.

 

This paper examines the UK Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, which deals with consent and information disclosure in medical treatment. The article begins by exploring the doctrine of informed consent, and then reflects on how the law has developed through the pragmatism of the courts. In the final section, discussion focuses on reform and special consideration is given to other jurisdictions including New Zealand.

 

It is established that a uniform principle of informed consent now exists in English Law. Yet, whilst acknowledging the now effective status of this doctrine, an assessment of its efficiency is questioned and potential difficulties with its future implementation in medical practice are outlined.

 

 

Introduction

 

In 2014, the Office for National Statistics[1] concluded that there were 695,233 live births in England and Wales. Typically, each of these pregnancies can be broken down into three trimesters and it is through each of these that gestational development and growth can be traced. However, flash forward to the delivery room. It is here, in the course of labour and delivery, that a series of questions about medical treatment are raised. In tandem with this, one obligation rests upon medical professionals which is paramount. Consent, and in particular consent which is informed[2].

 

It is increasingly recognised that patients should give informed consent to medical treatment. The difficult question, however, is working out exactly how much information patients need in order to be ‘informed’.

 

This article seeks to explain the basic proposition of ‘informed consent’ as it stands in the tort structure today. Focusing on the seminal case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board[3], this article will explain the evolution of the law on informed consent, a development which has been labelled in this article as the ‘three trimesters’ of informed consent. The article will seek to make note of issues, and possible reform, with the current law and in conclusion, will pose and attempt to answer the question; is it time for no to finally mean no in the birthing room?[4]

 

 

Informed Consent

 

One of the most important principles of medical law is that a competent adult patient must give consent to medical treatment[5].  Established at common law, all persons have the right not to suffer bodily violation without their consent[6].

 

As a term ‘informed consent’ is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first use of the phrase was in the USA[7], and despite a slow start reference to it has rapidly increased[8]. One might question the importance of informed consent? Apart from providing a living for lawyers when it is called into question, patient autonomy is the “cornerstone of modern medical jurisprudence in the United Kingdom”[9] and it is trite to know that a conscious adult of sound mind is entitled to withhold consent to treatment.

 

Whilst regarded as an effective concept, the word ‘informed’ largely tells us nothing about the amount of information required. The emphasis on ‘informed’ must refer to the quantity of consent required, and perhaps the quality of the information disclosed. Skegg, while generally supportive of the phrase, suggests that it may have been more explicit had it been expanded to “sufficiently informed consent”[10].

 

Pregnancy serves as an excellent window through which to examine this concept. Medical care or treatment cannot be imposed upon an autonomous and fully informed childbearing woman any more than it can be upon a non-child bearing one[11]. Yet whilst maternity claims already represent the highest value, and the second highest number, of all NHS claims[12], it is arguably impracticable to require specific maternal consent to each and every step in the management of pregnancy or delivery. There is doubt as to where the line falls to be drawn, but as we will see, the Supreme Court indicates that consent must be adequately based before it will be regarded as sufficiently informed.

 

The ‘Three’ Trimesters – evolution of the law on informed consent

 

 

  1. A.     Doctor’s Know Best: The ‘First Trimester’

 

In a situation where so much can go wrong, it is unsurprising that this field of medicine attracts high levels of litigation.
The reality is that not many childbirth cases actually make it to the courtroom[13].  Nevertheless, in those cases that do, judges have sought to constrain the exposure of healthcare professionals within the framework of the negligence action[14].

 

Typically, a defendant cannot escape liability in negligence by simply arguing that they followed common practice[15]. That being said, the courts tend to give wide latitude to those acting in a professional capacity. Initially, the adequacy of consent was determined by applying the Bolam[16] test which recognised the inevitability of differences in medical opinion and accordingly, practitioners were not to be considered negligent if they acted in accordance with the standards of their peers.

 

In other jurisdictions[17] the legal standards of consent developed along different lines. In Riebl v Hughes[18], the Canadian Supreme Court adopted the ‘prudent patient’ test, and whilst English law moved more slowly towards this, the first real hint of “judicial dissatisfaction”[19] with Bolam appeared in Sidaway[20].

 

The decision in Sidaway, with its “hotch potch”[21] of speeches , was far from the House of Lords’ finest contribution to the corpus of medical law. Most of their Lordships agreed that the Bolam test dictated the level of disclosure should be determined by the profession rather than the patient[22]. However, Lord Scarman[23] stated that disclosure was necessary. The “frailties of the decision”[24] in Sidaway have long since been exposed, and possibly the most remarkable thing about Sidaway was that it was allowed to lurk in the background for so long[25].

 

 

  1. B.      Patient Centred Retreat: The ‘Second Trimester’

 

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), the momentum for a shift away from the professional test of negligence for non-disclosure came not from the judiciary, but from the medical profession itself. Thus, a General Medical Council (GMC) publication in 1998 advised doctors to provide “for each option”[26].

 

Whilst the case of Chester v Afshar[27] was concerned primarily with causation, it contained relevant observations in relation to the duty of a doctor to advise a patient of risks involved in proposed treatment. It signalled a judicial willingness to scrutinise the level of disclosure and as Heywood contends, it “propelled the notion of patient autonomy”[28] to centre stage.

 

Undoubtedly a breath of fresh air for claimant lawyers and anyone else concerned with patient rights, the judgment was not well received and continues to attract a steady stream of academic criticism[29]. In a practical sense, defence lawyers certainly slept less soundly in the wake of Chester, but nonetheless the perceived consequences of the judgment did not eventuate[30].

 

 

  1. C.     Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015]: The ‘Third Trimester’

 

Montgomery completes the ‘trilogy’ on the issue of negligent information disclosure. The Supreme Court sought to modernise the law on consent and firmly held that medical paternalism no longer rules[31].

 

The facts of the case are relatively straightforward[32]. It concerned an allegation of negligent preoperative obstetric disclosure, whereby a diabetic mother claimed that she had the right to know of the potential complications that this might cause during her birth. The obstetrician involved was aware of the risk of shoulder dystocia but chose not to discuss it with Mrs Montgomery, who said she would have had a caesarean had she known the risks involved.

 

Mrs Montgomery based her argument on the judgment delivered by Lord Woolf, in Pearce v United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust[33]. There, the standard had been set as requiring that a doctor disclose any “significant risk that would affect the judgment of the reasonable patient”[34].

 

The Court was invited to depart from the decision in Sidaway[35], and notably, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court were in agreement in allowing the appeal. The reasoning was “two-fold”[36]: Sidaway had been misunderstood in practice[37] and the paternalistic model of the doctor-patient relationship on which it was based had ceased to reflect reality[38]. In place of the established Bolam test the Supreme Court[39] substituted a new test relating to the materiality of risk involved and this is to be assessed by reference not to a responsible body of medical opinion, but by reference to a reasonable person in the patient’s position[40].

 

For a long time, the Courts turned a blind eye to Sidaway, which seemed to suggest that Bolam was the touchstone of liability in consent cases. Montgomery says that blind eyes were rightly turned[41] and it is hard to ignore Montgomery’s subsequent application in Spencer v Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust[42]. Is it finally time for no to firmly mean no in the birthing room? All hands would point to yes.

 

 

Reform

 

  1. A.     Consent to Medical Treatment: Evolution and development of the Law in Non-UK Jurisdictions

 

As noted above, the ideal of ‘informed consent’ has developed far more readily in other jurisdictions, and one approach which warrants consideration has been developed in New Zealand. Whilst this development would certainly not suffice as a replacement for the law of torts, it does illustrate one possible way of supplementing it.

 

The approach taken is that every patient has the right to decide for himself whether to undergo treatment, even if the decision appears to be foolish or unreasonable[43]. Since 1996 New Zealand has had a Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, with the force of law[44]. Parliament, in the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (N.Z) and the Code of Rights, were not wary about using the term ‘informed consent’, unlike the highest courts in England. In New Zealand, controversies over the standard of disclosure and the causal link between negligent non-disclosure of risk and injury have largely been avoided under the Code.

 

The statutory framework is in many respects more significant than the detailed provisions of the Code[45]. Nonetheless, some parts of the Code justify mention here. The heading Right 6 – ‘Right to be Fully Informed’ – gives a broad indication of what follows. The focus on what a ‘reasonable consumer’ needs to make an informed choice follows the clarity of what was laid down in Rogers v Whitaker. At its helm, the Code committed itself to the patient-centred standard of disclosure[46].

 

Such alternatives “warrant examination”[47].  This is not because they are likely to be “suitable for transplantation”[48], they rarely will be. It is because they could potentially throw some relief into some aspects of the current English law, so as to achieve a fairer balance between the interests of the providers and users of health care services.

 

 

  1. B.      How has Montgomery altered the trajectory for informed consent and how will this be implemented?

 

Looking to the future, has the trajectory altered to increase the effectiveness of the tort framework for liability within medical negligence? Yes, this is a maintainable statement to make, and Montgomery as a landmark decision is a hyperbole that is perhaps justified.

 

To the credit of Montgomery, it is tenable that this has always been the standard set in medical practice. The Supreme Court did not apply the law retrospectively, but what they have done is apply the standard of the GMC at the relevant time to the facts of Montgomery. The GMC have made clear for many years what is expected of doctors in terms of consenting patients[49]. The practical difficulty has simply been that the law has lagged behind. The Supreme Court have now “aligned the law”[50] with the guidance on consent put forward by the GMC.

 

Made reference to in the judgment of Montgomery[51], the GMC advises that the doctor must tell patients if treatment might result in a serious adverse outcome, even if the risk is marginal[52].  Montgomery can therefore be classed, not as the death knell for medical paternalism, but as a “long awaited obituary”[53] which will help to bring the doctor-patient paradigm in line with existing medical practice. Surely this is something that we can see as an effective and timely alignment within the corpus of medical negligence. Whilst this is so, we must not ignore the possibility of further reform. Now that the law has aligned, how can we ‘birth’ it in such a way as to make it not just effective, but efficient as well?

 

Adopting a model such as the one outlined above is perhaps not the most efficient consideration. There are clearly some similarities between the New Zealand Code and the NHS Constitution’[54]. However, there are also important differences, mainly that the Code is law and the Constitution is not. When medical lawyers are asked to advise on an issue, the Code is often the first source to which they look[55]. Its role is very different from the Constitution, but it does pose the question as to whether implementation of a Code-like document should be replicated in the UK which would help to overcome some of the pitfalls of Montgomery.

 

One of the many problems that could be expected to arise in the wake of Montgomery is the issue of how much advice should be given, and the manner in which it is presented to the patient. The Supreme Court specifically noted that Mrs Montgomery was clearly an “intelligent person”[56], and the implication of this was that her understanding of medical risk was more sophisticated than that of the average patient. Is this type of background information relevant as part of the profile of the “reasonable person in the patient’s position”? Montgomery largely ignored this consideration.

 

The days are now gone when obtaining consent was left to the most junior trainee, tasked with getting the patient’s signature like a salesperson on commission. If viewed solely as a ‘medico-legal’ requirement, then there is a danger that obtaining the patient’s consent may become too formalistic. Unfortunately, the requirement for consent is presented in this way by some. Classically, by Lord Donaldson in Re W (A Minor)[57] where he suggested that consent is analogous to a legal “flak jacket”[58].

 

O’Mahony[59] comments that Montgomery brought this difficulty to light, and suggests that a proposal to replace the consent form with a ‘decision record’[60] would be better suited to serve not as another ‘meaningless document’, but as a mechanism that would ensure that patients who sign on the dotted line are not just complying with formality. Whilst this might be time consuming, so is defending a case based on an allegation of inadequate consent.

 

Importantly, and in particular when analysing informed consent through a maternity lens, giving of information is not, and should not, only be the domain of doctors. Midwives are equally the care providers and, as such, will be the providers of information as needed. The hierarchy of medical care is something which Montgomery, again, failed to consider, but importantly it is not one which should be forgotten. In terms of the doctor and midwife, it should not be an either or scenario.

 

The Supreme Court did recognise that this change in focus with regards to consent might not be welcomed by some healthcare providers.  There is a real risk that, quite apart from the “patients as consumers”[61] concern, Montgomery will turn out to be an enemy of patients’ rights[62]. Doctors looking worriedly over their shoulders at the lawyers. However, as Heywood contends, there may be no need to press the panic button just yet[63].

 

 

Conclusion

 

The need for clear principles on ‘informed consent’ is essential, and has now been confirmed. The real impact of Montgomery, however, will undoubtedly hinge on how it is perceived by those at the coalface of NHS policy and practice. Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, stated that, along with improving the quality of surgical training, shared decision making is high on her agenda. The College’s recent report Good Surgical Practice[64] emphasises the importance of this, and in an interview conducted by the BMJ[65] Clare Marx was asked “are these traditional surgical attributes?” Her reply: “They will be.”

 

As this article has sought to convey, the advice from lawyers, therefore, ought to be no more than to keep at the forefront of doctors’ minds the specific needs of particular patients in the disclosure process, but other than that to continue adhering to the comprehensive guidelines already issued by the professional regulatory bodies.

 

It will be interesting to see how the ‘after-birth’ of Montgomery is delivered, and it is perhaps this that our attention should be directed to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Table of cases (UK)

 

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 1 W.L.R 582

 

Chester v Afshar [2004] UKHL 41

 

F v West Berkshire HA [1990] 2 A.C. 1

 

Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11

 

Mrs A v East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 1038 (QB)

 

Pearce v United Bristol NHS Trust (1998) 48 BMLR 118

 

Re W (A Minor) [1992] 4 All E.R. 627

 

Sidaway v Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital [1985] 2 W.L.R 480

 

Spencer v Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 1058 (QB)

 

 

Table of cases (other jurisdictions)

 

Riebl v Hughes [1980] 2 S.C.R 880

 

Rogers v Whittaker (1992) 175 CLR 479

 

Salgo v Leland Stanford Jr University 317 P.2d 170 (Cal App, 1957)

 

Schloendorff v Society of New York Hospital, 105 N.E. 92 (N.Y. 1914)

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Legislation (other jurisdictions)

 

New Zealand

 

Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (1996)

 

Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (N.Z)

 

 

Books

 

De Cruz P, Comparative Healthcare Law (1st edn, 2001 Cavendish)

 

Horsey K and Rackley E, Tort Law (4th edn, OUP 2015)

 

Jackson E, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (3rd edn., OUP 2013)

 

Kennedy I and Grubb A, Medical Law (3rd edn, Butterworths 2000)

 

Mason J.K. and Laurie G.T, Mason and McCall Smith’s Law and Medical Ethics (9th edn., OUP 2013)

 

 

Journal Articles

 

Clark T and Nolan D, ‘A critique of Chester v Afsar’ (2004) 34(4) OJLS 659

 

Foster C, ‘The last word on consent?’ (2015) 165(7647) NLJ 8 <http://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/nlj/content/last-word-consent>

 

Heywood R, ‘Litigation labour: Condoning unreasonable risk-taking in childbirth? (2015) 44(1) CLWR 28

 

Heywood R, ‘RIP Sidaway: patient orientated disclosure- a standard worth waiting for?’ (2015) 23(3) Med. L. Rev 455

 

Macclean A, ‘The doctrine of informed consent: does it exist and has it crossed the Atlantic?’ (2004) 24(3) LS 386

 

Manning J, ‘Informed Consent to Medical Treatment: The Common Law and New Zealand’s Code of Patients’ Rights’ (2004) 12(2) Med. L. Rev 181

 

McGrath C.P, ‘Disclosure Standards and The Patient’s Right to Decide’ (2015) 74(2) CLJ 21

 

Reynard J and Marsh H, ‘The development of consent from Bolam to Chester: what you need to know and what your patients are entitled to know’ (2009) 103(11) BJU Int. 1458

 

Skegg P.D.G, ‘English Medical Law and ‘Informed Consent’: An Antipodean Assessment and Alternative’ (1999) 7(2) Med. L. Rev 135

 

 

Reports

 

General Medical Council, ‘Consent: Patients and doctors making decisions together’ (General Medical Council, Manchester, June 2008) <http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Consent_-_English_1015.pdf>

 

General Medical Council, ‘Seeking Patient’s Consent: The Ethical Considerations’ (General Medical Council, Manchester, November 1998) <http://www.gmc-uk.org/Seeking_patients_consent_The_ethical_considerations.pdf_25417085.pdf>

National Health Service, ‘The NHS Constitution’ (NHS, London, July 2015) <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480482/NHS_Constitution_WEB.pdf>

 

NHS Litigation Authority, ‘Report and Accounts 2013/14’ (NHS Litigation Authority, London, July 2014) <http://www.nhsla.com/aboutus/Documents/NHS%20LA%20Annual%20Report%20and%20Accounts%202013-14.pdf>

 

NHS Litigation Authority, ‘Ten years of Maternity Care Claims: An Analysis of NHS Litigation Authority Data’ (NHS Litigation Authority, London, October 2012) <http://www.nhsla.com/safety/Documents/Ten%20Years%20of%20Maternity%20Claims%20-%20An%20Analysis%20of%20the%20NHS%20LA%20Data%20-%20October%202012.pdf>

 

Royal College of Surgeons, ‘Good Surgical Practice’ (RCS, London, September 2014) <https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/surgeons/surgical-standards/professionalism-surgery/gsp/documents/good-surgical-practice-pdf>

 

 

Newspaper reports

 

Carpenter L, ‘The mothers fighting back against birth intervention’ The Guardian (London 16th December 2012) <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/16/mothers-fighting-against-birth-intervention>

 

Hill M, ‘Consent in childbirth is a joke: How British women are silenced in the delivery room’ Telegraph (London 1st May 2015) <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11574412/British-women-Consent-during-childbirth-is-a-joke.html>

 

 

Websites

 

British Medical Journal <http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h462>

 

Office for National Statistics <http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/birth-summary-tables–england-and-wales/2014/index.html#main-points>

 

 

Blogs

 

Dorotheou E, ‘Case Comment: Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11’ (UKSC Blog, 27th March 2015) <http://ukscblog.com/case-comment-montgomery-v-lanarkshire-health-board-2015-uksc-11/>

 

O’Mahony D, ‘The Consent Form: A Meaningless Document?’ (Law Society Gazette, March 2016)  <http://www.lawsociety.ie/Documents/Gazette/Gazette%202016/march-16-gazette.pdf>

 

 

 

Stephenson D,  ‘Insight: Childbirth’ (Westlaw, 2nd June 2015)<http://login.westlaw.co.uk/maf/wluk/app/document?&srguid=ia744c09a000001545d2e903ed93460b3&docguid=IEE64B3E03BC511E3843E9DCFCBA0E8B1&hitguid=IEE64B3E03BC511E3843E9DCFCBA0E8B1&rank=1&spos=1&epos=1&td=14&crumb-action=append&context=21&resolvein=true>

 

 

Sutherland L, ‘Montgomery in the Supreme Court: a new legal test for consent to medical treatment’ (Scottish Legal, 12th March 2015) http://www.scottishlegal.com/2015/03/12/montgomery-in-the-supreme-court-a-new-legal-test-for-consent-to-medical-treatment/

 


[2] Milli Hill, ‘Consent in childbirth is a joke’ Telegraph (London 1st May 2015) <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11574412/British-women-Consent-during-childbirth-is-a-joke.html> accessed 27/04/16

[3] [2015] UKSC 11

[4] Louise Carpenter, ‘The mothers fighting back against birth intervention’ The Guardian (London 16th December 2012) <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/16/mothers-fighting-against-birth-intervention> accessed 27/04/16

[5] Emily Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (3rd edn., OUP 2013) 165

[6] See, F v West Berkshire HA [1990] 2 A.C. 1

[7] Salgo v Leland Stanford Jr University 317 P.2d 170 (Cal App, 1957)

[8] See Alasdair Macclean, ‘The doctrine of informed consent: does it exist and has it crossed the Atlantic?’ (2004) 24(3) LS 386, 387. A Westlaw search on 28/04/16 revealed that ten articles published in the last year contained ‘informed consent’ in their title.

[9] J. K. Mason and G. T. Laurie, Mason and McCall Smith’s Law and Medical Ethics (9th edn., OUP 2013) para 9.02

[10] P.D.G. Skegg, ‘English Medical Law and ‘Informed Consent’: An Antipodean Assessment and Alternative’ (1999) 7(2) Med. L. Rev 135, 138

[12] NHS Litigation Authority, ‘Ten years of Maternity Care Claims: An Analysis of NHS Litigation Authority Data’ (NHS Litigation Authority, London, October 2012) <http://www.nhsla.com/safety/Documents/Ten%20Years%20of%20Maternity%20Claims%20-%20An%20Analysis%20of%20the%20NHS%20LA%20Data%20-%20October%202012.pdf> accessed 28/04/16

[13] It is reported that, between 01/04/03 and 31/03/14, out of 68,136 total files opened, 47.36% have been settled out of court; See NHS Litigation Authority, ‘Report and Accounts 2013/14’ (NHS Litigation Authority, London, July 2014) <http://www.nhsla.com/aboutus/Documents/NHS%20LA%20Annual%20Report%20and%20Accounts%202013-14.pdf> accessed 05/05/16

[14] Rob Heywood, ‘Litigation labour: Condoning unreasonable risk-taking in childbirth? (2015) 44(1) CLWR 28, 29

[15] Kirsty Horsey and Erika Rackley, Tort Law (4th edn., OUP 2015) 218

[16] Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 1 W.L.R 582

[17] Montgomery (n3) [70]-[74]

[18] [1980] 2 S.C.R 880, [13]; see also the Australian case of Rogers v Whittaker (1992) 175 CLR 479

[19] John Reynard and Howard Marsh, ‘The development of consent from Bolam to Chester: what you need to know and what your patients are entitled to know’ (2009) 103(11) BJU Int. 1458, 1459

[20] Sidaway v Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital [1985] 2 W.L.R 480

[21] I Kennedy and A Grubb, Medical Law (3rd edn., Butterworths 2000) 691

[22] Sidaway (n20) 893 (Lord Diplock)

[23] Ibid. 876

[24] Rob Heywood, ‘RIP Sidaway: patient orientated disclosure- a standard worth waiting for?’ (2015) 23(3) Med. L. Rev 455, 457

[25] Ibid.

[26] General Medical Council, ‘Seeking Patient’s Consent: The Ethical Considerations’ (General Medical Council, Manchester, November 1998) at [5] <http://www.gmc-uk.org/Seeking_patients_consent_The_ethical_considerations.pdf_25417085.pdf> accessed 04/05/16

[27] [2004] UKHL 41

[28] Heywood (n24) 456

[29] See, Tamsyn Clark and Donal Nolan, ‘A critique of Chester v Afsar’ (2004) 34(4) OJLS 659

[30] Heywood (n24) 456

[31] Charles Foster, ‘The last word on consent?’ (2015) 165(7647) NLJ 8 <http://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/nlj/content/last-word-consent> accessed 09/05/16

[32] Montgomery (n3) [6]-[25]

[33] [1999] P.I.Q.R 53, [21]

[34] Ibid.

[35] Montgomery (n3) [4]

[36] C.P McGrath, ‘Disclosure Standards and The Patient’s Right to Decide’ (2015) 74(2) CLJ 211, 212

[37] Montgomery (n3) [58] and [86]

[38] Ibid. [58]

[39] Ibid. [85]

[40] Ibid. [87]

[41] Foster (n31)

[42] [2015] EWHC 1058 (QB)

[43] Peter de Cruz, Comparative Healthcare Law (1st edn., 2001 Cavendish) 355

[44] The Code came into force on 1st July 1996. See also, Joanna Manning, ‘Informed Consent to Medical Treatment: The Common Law and New Zealand’s Code of Patients’ Rights’ (2004) 12(2) Med. L. Rev 181

[45] Skegg (n10) 155

[46] Ibid. 151-159 for a more in depth look at provisions of the Code.

[47] Ibid. 164

[48] Ibid.

[49] General Medical Council, ‘Consent: Patients and doctors making decisions together’ (General Medical Council, Manchester, June 2008) at [5] <http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Consent_-_English_1015.pdf> accessed 11/05/16.

[50] Emily Dorotheou, ‘Case Comment: Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11’ (UKSC Blog, 27th March 2015) <http://ukscblog.com/case-comment-montgomery-v-lanarkshire-health-board-2015-uksc-11/> accessed 11/05/16

[51] Montgomery (n3) [77]–[79]

[52] GMC (n49) [32]

[53] Foster (n31)

[54] National Health Service, ‘The NHS Constitution’ (NHS, London, 27th July 2015) <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480482/NHS_Constitution_WEB.pdf>  accessed 11/05/16

[55] Skegg (n10) 163

[56] Montgomery (n3) [6]

[57] [1992] 4 All E.R. 627

[58] Ibid. 635

[59] Doireann O’Mahony ‘The Consent Form: A Meaningless Document?’ (Law Society Gazette, March 2016) 21  <http://www.lawsociety.ie/Documents/Gazette/Gazette%202016/march-16-gazette.pdf> accessed 11/05/16

[60] Ibid.

[61] Montgomery (n3) [93]

[62] Lauren Sutherland, ‘Montgomery in the Supreme Court: a new legal test for consent to medical treatment’ (Scottish Legal, 12th March 2015) <http://www.scottishlegal.com/2015/03/12/montgomery-in-the-supreme-court-a-new-legal-test-for-consent-to-medical-treatment/> accessed 11/05/16

[63] Heywood (n24) 466. See also, Mrs A v East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 1038 (QB) which arguably provided some reassurance to practitioners in the wake of Montgomery.

[64] Royal College of Surgeons, ‘Good Surgical Practice’ (RCS, London, September 2014) <https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/surgeons/surgical-standards/professionalism-surgery/gsp/documents/good-surgical-practice-pdf> accessed 11/05/16

[65] British Medical Journal <http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h462> accessed 11/05/16

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