Obtaining informed consent: a legal perspective

Violetta Zotti, Mario G T Zotti, Lyell McEwin, David Worswick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


Consent to treatment is a fundamental
legal and ethical obligation that
reflects patient autonomy and involves
four issues: voluntariness, information,
competence to consent, and requirements
that the person conducting the treatment
obtains the consent. This article explores
the provision of information to the patient,
the “informed” part of the consent process
and employs a clinical study to help analyse
issues surrounding the legal requirement
to warn of “material risks”. While most
legal practitioners may have a reasonable
sense of the rules of consent, this surveys
a group of clinicians administering steroid
injections. This article demonstrates how
consent rules, particularly those involving
the provision of information to patients,
are understood by clinicians, and the
relative practical difficulties created in
complying with them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalLaw Society of South Australia Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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