The changing face of informed consent

Br Dent J. 2015 Oct 9;219(7):325-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2015.754.


All healthcare professionals are required to gain a patient's consent before proceeding with examination, investigation or treatment. Gone are the days when consent was about protecting the professional. Following a recent landmark Supreme Court case, 'informed' consent is now embedded in UK law. Patients have the right to high-quality information that allows them to be involved in making decisions about their care. Dentists have a duty of care to provide this information and guide their patients through the process. This paper reviews key ethical, legal, and professional guidance available to dentists about informed consent and concludes by discussing how shared decision-making is a model of healthcare delivery with much to offer dentist and patient alike.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Dental Care*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics*
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Rights
  • Physician-Patient Relations