J Med Ethics 38:574 doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100198
  • Ethics abstract

Completion of consent forms in colorectal surgery: are we getting it right?

Open Access
  1. Sarah Graham2
  1. 1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Department of Urology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Peter John Webster, Colorectal Surgery, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; peterwebster{at}
  1. Contributors PJW and SG contributed equally to the acquisition of data and drafting of this report.

The General Medical Council and Department of Health both recognise that although the acquisition of written informed consent for surgery is not a legal requirement, it remains a good practice.1 ,2 The use of consent forms enables operation details, including benefits and risks to be discussed and clearly documented. This ensures that patients are fully informed, and reduces the risk of litigation in cases with complications.

One hundred and seven consent forms of patients who underwent colorectal surgery between March 2011 and May 2011 at our teaching hospital were prospectively audited. Areas analysed included patient details, nature of operation, discussion of benefits and risks, details of …