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To consent or not to consent?

To consent or not to consent?
22 October 2002

“Informed consent remains a fundamental principle in the practice of medical procedures. It is not a new concept and should, by now, be sought as a matter of course by all relevant health professionals,” said Parents Centre Chief executive, Sue Fitzmaurice.

“The sad fact, underpinning the release of the report on the Green Lane heart library, is that the question of consent was ever raised. The question that should be asked is: Why are patients or the parents of patients not being adequately consulted?” said Ms Fitzmaurice.

“We have seen report after report call for better protocols for gaining consent, yet here we are again, even after the Cartwright Report and its decisive recommendations of 1988, back where we began – calling for protocols to ensure informed consent by patients or their next of kin prior to medical treatments or surgical procedures. It should not have to be spelt out time and time again.”

“Parents Centre supports the release of the report and recommendations concerning the removal and storage of human tissue. We trust, however, that we will not have a need to revisit the issue of informed consent in a few years time, it is time that the medical fraternity embraced the notion once and for all,” Sue Fitzmaurice said.

“It is a tragedy that too many parents have been forced to grieve the deaths of their babies all over again, simply because they were not accorded the respect they were due. Let this be the last time that we see such a sad lack of adequate consent protocols,” added Ms Fitzmaurice.


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