Informed Consent in Endodontics: Clinical and Medico-Legal Considerations
Dr Mark Johnstone
BDSc (Hons), DCD (Endo), MHlth&MedLaw, FPFA
Dr Mark Johnstone graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Dental Science with Honours in 2008, Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Endodontics) in 2014, and a Master of Health and Medical Law in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He has been involved in teaching at continuing education programmes throughout Australia. He works in private practice in Maribyrnong, Victoria.
Communication is a fundamental element of every patient interaction. Unfortunately, complaints against clinicians are increasing yearly, often as a result of a breakdown in communication. As clinicians, it is our duty to provide information to patients about their health in such a way that they can make a fully informed decision regarding their treatment. Whilst every interaction is unique, there are key elements that must be included in a dialogue to reduce the chance of miscommunication and future complaints, and to fulfil our legal obligations to our patients.
The aim of this presentation will be to discuss the ethical and legal obligations of informed consent and to present an example of consultation and informed consent discussion in an endodontic setting.
- To understand the legal principles underpinning informed consent doctrine
- To understand what information is required for valid consent
- To learn strategies of how to present clinical information to patients
References for further reading (available at austlii.edu.au):
- Rogers v Whitaker  HCA 58
- Chappel v Hart  HCA 55
- Wallace v Kam  HCA 19