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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - our advice for doctors

We recognise that this is a very difficult and worrying time for doctors. Our professional standards provide a framework for ethical decision making in a wide range of situations. They should be followed as far as practical in the circumstances. We're regularly updating our advice for doctors as the situation develops.

Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together

Working in partnership with your patients to make good clinical decisions goes to the heart of good medical practice.

This guidance provides a framework to help you to make decisions with your patient about their treatment and care. By following it, it will help you make sure that you have informed consent from your patient. And that you involve families and others when it’s appropriate. It has advice on:

  • What you should tell a patient when talking about risks.
  • What to do if your patient doesn't want to hear information you think is relevant.
  • When you must have written consent.
  • What you should record.

The guidance will also help you when your patient lacks capacity. It includes a helpful list of things you should consider and has advice on dealing with disagreements.

This guidance came into effect 2 June 2008.

We are currently reviewing our Consent guidance. Find out more about the review: what we’ve done so far and what the next steps will be.

Download the guidance

You can download the guidance in English or Welsh.

Consent (English)
Consent (Welsh)