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Patient consent for changes to consent forms for operations

Volume 657: debated on Wednesday 3 April 2019

The Petition of Mr Anthony Sheppard

Declares that Mr Sheppard was scheduled for Mr Jain to perform an operation on his knee at Solihull Hospital on 18th February 2014; further declares that he attended the hospital and signed a consent form in the ward at around noon; further declares that he was sent for at 1.45 pm and arrived in the operating theatre reception at 1.50 pm; further declares that while the anaesthetist was at the point of administering a general anaesthetic a different doctor (Mr Gajula) came in and said that changes were needed to the consent form because Mr Jain would not be performing the operation and there was a risk of breaking his leg; further declares that Mr Gajula made alterations to the consent form and initialled them; further declares that Mr Sheppard became upset, nevertheless, the general anaesthetic was administered and the operation was performed without Mr Sheppard being asked to confirm his consent by initialling the changes to the consent form; and further declares that the events stated above were established as 'common ground' by the judge in the civil case;

Further declares that Mr Sheppard has since taken this case both to the GMC, from the GMC to judicial review and then to the court of appeal; further declares that Mr Sheppard has also taken the case through the civil courts, and through the court of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights; further declares that, notwithstanding the fact that Mr Sheppard did not consent to the changes to the consent form and that the doctors contravened the regulations of the hospital which require patients to initial changes rather than doctors otherwise they leave themselves open to criminal charges, the court found for the Defendant, who had claimed that no further consent was required after Mr Sheppard signed the original unmodified consent form; and further declares that the judge in judicial review held that Parliament had given the GMC the authority to choose which cases to investigate and had discretion to ignore the case.

The petitioner therefore requests that this petition be referred both to the Health Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights for a review as to whether the law should be changed to provide protection to patients so that written consent is required from a patient with capacity before an operation proceeds with an amended consent form; and further asks the House of Commons to refer this petition to those members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe with a view for them to refer it to the appropriate committees of that assembly in respect of Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

And the petitioner remains, etc.—[Presented by Tim Farron .] [P002447]