Informed consent to medical treatment is a vexed topic; medically, legally, and ethically. Consent is underpinned by the notion of personal autonomy and the right to self-determination. In a medical context, this translates into the right of the patient to decide which treatment to agree or to refuse. The ‘informed’ element of consent depends upon the provision of information by the doctor together with a degree of understanding of that information from the patient. This poses problems for medical professionals as it is difficult to gauge the exact amount of information they must give to a patient and the level of understanding which must follow in order to render any consent legally and ethically valid. Arguably, this problem has been exacerbated by the uncertain nature of the law in respect of information disclosure. The English courts have not found it easy to articulate the scope of a doctor's legal duty...

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