New consent guidelines from the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

The AAGBI has just published new guidelines on consent for anaesthesia. Previous guidelines on consent for anaesthesia were issued by the AAGBI in 1999 and revised in 2006. The new guidelines have been produced in response to the changing ethical and legal background against which anaesthetists, and also intensivists and pain specialists, currently work, while retaining the key principles of respect for patients’ autonomy and the need to provide adequate information. The main points of difference between the relevant legal frameworks in England and Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are also highlighted in a document which may be of more general use for anyone seeking to understand the differences in approach between these jurisdictions to questions of consent to medical treatment more broadly.[1]

[1] Full disclosure: I was a member of the working party.

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