Informed Consent in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Bristol and West Building Society v Mothew
    • Court of Appeal
    • 24 Jul 1996

    A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for or on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. A fiduciary must act in good faith; he must not make a profit out of his trust; he must not place himself in a position where his duty and his interest may conflict; he may not act for his own benefit or the benefit of a third person without the informed consent of his principal.

  • Bristol and West Building Society v Mothew
    • Court of Appeal
    • 24 Jul 1996

    A fiduciary who acts for two principals with potentially conflicting interests without the informed consent of both is in breach of the obligation of undivided loyalty; he puts himself in a position where his duty to one principal may conflict with his duty to the other: see Clark Boyce v Mouat [1994] 1 AC 428 and the cases there cited. Breach of the rule automatically constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty. But this is not something of which the Society can complain.

  • Chester v Afshar
    • House of Lords
    • 14 Oct 2004

    The function of the law is to enable rights to be vindicated and to provide remedies when duties have been breached. Unless this is done the duty is a hollow one, stripped of all practical force and devoid of all content. It will have lost its ability to protect the patient and thus to fulfil the only purpose which brought it into existence.

  • Airedale NHS Trust v Bland
    • House of Lords
    • 04 Feb 1993

    First, it is established that the principle of self-determination requires that respect must be given to the wishes of the patient, so that if an adult patient of sound mind refuses, however unreasonably, to consent to treatment or care by which his life would or might be prolonged, the doctors responsible for his care must give effect to his wishes, even though they do not consider it to be in his best interests to do so (see Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital 105 N.E. 92, 93, per Cardozo J. (1914); S. v. McC. (Orse S.) and M (D.S. Intervener); W v. W [1972] A.C. 24, 43, per Lord Reid; and Sidaway v. Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital [1985] A.C. 871, 882, per Lord Scarman).

  • Hurstanger Ltd v Wilson and another
    • Court of Appeal
    • 04 Apr 2007

    The passage which I have quoted was muddled although, read carefully, for the reasons given by Mr Seymour, it may not in fact have been ambiguous. But it could and should have been clearer and informed the defendants that a commission was to be paid and its amount and done so in terms which made it clear that the defendants were being asked to consent to this.

  • Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board
    • Supreme Court
    • 11 Mar 2015

    An adult person of sound mind is entitled to decide which, if any, of the available forms of treatment to undergo, and her consent must be obtained before treatment interfering with her bodily integrity is undertaken. The doctor is therefore under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments.

  • FHR European Ventures LLP v Mankarious
    • Supreme Court
    • 16 Jul 2014

    The following three principles are not in doubt, and they are taken from the classic summary of the law in the judgment of Millett LJ in Bristol and West Building Society v Mothew [1998] Ch 1, 18. Because of the importance which equity attaches to fiduciary duties, such "informed consent" is only effective if it is given after "full disclosure", to quote Sir George Jessel MR in Dunne v English (1874) LR 18 Eq 524, 533.

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