Editorials

Consent for transfusion

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7105.380 (Published 16 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:380

A duty of care

  1. F G Williams, Directora
  1. a Welsh Blood Service, Ely Valley Road, Talbot Green Pontyclun, Cardiff CF72 9WB

    All patients have the legal and ethical right before they agree to treatment to receive adequate information on the aims, benefits, and risks of the treatment. In Britain this is firmly stated in the patient's charter, as well as being highlighted by the Medical Defence Union1 and the Medical Protection Society2 in their publications. It is also emphasised as a doctor's duty by the General Medical Council: “In particular as a doctor you must give patients information in a way they can understand; respect the rights of patients to be fully involved in decisions about their care.”3 During most transactions between patients and doctors consent is implied, but when a procedure is likely to carry a substantial or material risk the right is usually interpreted as asking patients to provide express written consent. In the United Kingdom, …

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