The General Dental Council is involved in various matters of consent, as ethical issues which reflect upon the professional conduct of a dentist. The General Dental Council identifies the main ethical principles of getting consent as:
An individual’s capacity must be assessed specifically in terms of their capacity to make a particular decision at the time it needs to be made.
This means that a person may lack capacity to make a decision about one issue but not about others. Care must be taken not to judge an individual’s capacity merely by reference to their age, appearance or medical condition. Continue reading →
Most children eventually reach an age where they can grasp relevant facts about their body and about proposed treatment to it. They can give consent to treatment, but the degree of understanding can vary in relation to the complexity of the treatment envisaged. A few children are never, even when adulthood is reached, capable of properly understanding the information given to them and must therefore be considered incapable of giving consent. Continue reading →