Advertisement

Consent in obstetrics

      Abstract

      Medical consent, the process of agreeing the benefits and risks of a treatment or procedure, has specific challenges in pregnancy and labour. Consent should take the form of a discussion about risk and include the alternatives. It should be an ongoing process with the right to withdraw consent or seek further information if the person chooses. Ideally all risks to which the patient might attach significance should be discussed. To consent, a person must have capacity. It is accepted that while labour can involve stress, pain, and fatigue, and will not infrequently be in a time-critical situation, women will normally retain the capacity to consent. This includes the right to make decisions outside of societal norms or which put at risk the life of herself or unborn child. In rare circumstances where an incapacitated woman requires medical intervention in pregnancy this should be done in accordance with appropriate legislation acting in the best interests of the mother.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
        AAGBI: consent for anaesthesia 2017.
        Anaesthesia. 2017; 72: 93-105
        • General Medical Council
        Decision making and consent content.
        2020
        • Treharne A.
        • Beattie B.
        Consent in clinical practice.
        The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. 2015; 17: 251-255
      1. Labour Pains. labourpains.com (accessed 18 Feb 2022).

        • Aja B.
        The effects of pain on informed consent.
        Nurse Anesthesia Capstones. 2017; 10
      2. The Mental Capacity Act. 2005