Informed Consent and Psychotherapy: The Travails of Consistency (Part II)

Choong, Kartina Aisha orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9407-1771 (2006) Informed Consent and Psychotherapy: The Travails of Consistency (Part II). Journal of International Biotechnology Law, 3 (2). pp. 84-88. ISSN 1612-6068

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This complexity is aggravated further by the fact that when the Bolam principles were endorsed as the determinants of the scope of disclosure, direct reference is made only to disclosure of the inherent risks of a proposed procedure. With Lord Bridge's speech commonly accepted as the heart of Sidaway, this is then qualified by the assertion that the court reserves the right to be the ultimate arbiter on the adequacy of disclosure where the procedure involved a substantial risk of grave adverse consequences. Granting that the decision has to be set within the factual circumstances of the Sidaway case itself, both rulings nevertheless illustrate the court's overriding concern with risks of bodily injury. This emphasis brings its own host of problems. Risks of psychotherapy are not readily ascertainable at the outset with any degree of accuracy. There is currently still a dearth of evidencebased information on these as the field is not generally amenable to observational research.

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