Agreeing to treatment
in Medicine, patients and the law (sixth edition)
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In the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, the much criticised decision of the House of Lords in Sidaway v Royal Bethlem Hospital was consigned to history. No longer are adults with mental capacity only entitled to be told what doctors think it is appropriate to tell them. This chapter considers the torts of battery and negligence, exploring the right to consent and the right to say ‘no’ to treatment. What is meant by consent? How much must a doctor tell a patient? Can a doctor withhold information from a patient in her best interests (the so-called ‘therapeutic privilege’)?


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