GMC publish new consent guidance

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The GMC have updated their guidance in relation to consent – the guidance comes into effect on 9 November 2020 and can be accessed at the link below:

Guidance on professional standards and ethics for doctors – Decision making and consent

The guidance does not introduce any new obligations, rather it provides more expansive guidance in relation to how doctors can meet their ethical and legal obligations in relation to consent.

The overarching principle is that a patient-centred approach should be taken into decision making and consent.

Aspects of the guidance that may be of particular interest are as follows:

  • The GMC have set out seven principles which provide a helpful guide on how to approach decision making and consent (page 7).
  • The exceptional circumstances in which information can be withheld in the context of the consent process are helpfully set out in paragraphs 14 and 15 (page 13) – in brief this would apply if the disclosure of the information may cause the patient serious harm.
  • The approach to seeking consent when a patient lacks capacity can be found in paragraphs 76-95 (pages 32-38).


Last updated : 21 Oct 2020