Consent and medical treatment: The legal paradigm in India

Indian J Urol. 2009 Jul;25(3):343-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.56202.


The element of consent is one of the critical issues in medical treatment. The patient has a legal right to autonomy and self determination enshrined within Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. He can refuse treatment except in an emergency situation where the doctor need not get consent for treatment. The consent obtained should be legally valid. A doctor who treats without valid consent will be liable under the tort and criminal laws. The law presumes the doctor to be in a dominating position, hence the consent should be obtained after providing all the necessary information.