Consent and Ethics: Adults

Published: 13/08/2019


All doctors should be familiar with the key principles of good practice in obtaining consent and be familiar with a range of ethical issues that commonly arise in medical practice. These principles are especially relevant to Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Management, where professionals are often expected to deal with complex problems that arise in patients who are seriously ill, in pain or incapacitated, and require a range of interventions including surgery and obstetric care. There is some excellent existing guidance available, most notably from the General Medical Council (GMC) and British Medical Association (BMA). These pages do not aim to replace this but will signpost to it and other relevant peer reviewed resources as appropriate.

Anaesthetists need to have a good understanding of the consent process and are frequently asked to provide help and advice to other members of the perioperative team. These pages also provide useful advice on a range of related topics commonly encountered in hospital practice.

You may also find it helpful to reference the information and resources in our section on Consent and Ethics for Children and Young People.