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Value and limitation of consent forms

Norrie, Kenneth (1992) Value and limitation of consent forms. Current Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2 (2). pp. 121-122.

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The increase in medical negligence cases, particularly those based on informed consent, has led to a greater use of consent forms. This however, has led to a certain misunderstanding as to their nature and effect, for consent forms do not provide the protection that many doctors believe they do. Consent forms are not contracts, which bind the patient. At most they are evidence that proper discussion between the doctor and the patient has taken place; but they are never conclusive evidence. Their value lies only in that they act as reminders to doctors that consent, to be valid, has to be based on proper information and advice that the patient is entitled to.