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Consent means the grant of permission by the patient on his volition for a diagnostic, surgical or therapeutic procedure to be carried out by the doctor. If a doctor treats a patient without valid consent, he/she is liable under the tort and criminal laws. Hence, obtaining consent is both an ethical obligation as well as a legal compulsion for the doctor.
The MCI Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002 have also included this very important subject in Regulation 7.16 which states as follows: “Before performing an operation the physician should obtain in writing the consent from the husband or wife, parent or guardian in the case of minor, or the patient himself as the case may be. In an operation, which may result in sterility the consent of both husband and wife is needed.”