Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The UK Supreme Court Montgomery judgement marks a decisive shift in the legal test of duty of care in the context of consent to treatment from the perspective of the clinician (as represented by Bolam rules) to that of the patient. This has important implications in the surgical field worldwide, where informed consent is critical. This paper aims to explain the ruling and how it impacts the consent process. The case and ruling are outlined and summarised as pertaining to consent and requirements for validity; a shift from the clinician's interpretation about what would be best for patients to the values of the particular patient concerned in the decision in question. A sample of recent commentaries is reviewed. Four examples illustrate some of the practical applications of the Montgomery ruling on consent and how the ruling can empower doctors and patients to make mutually beneficial shared decisions. Future consent should be obtained using a Montgomery compliant strategy in accordance with the principles of shared decision making.

Original publication




Journal article


Patient Educ Couns

Publication Date



Decision making, Informed consent, Medical ethics