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Standard A4 of the Osteopathic Practice Standards requires an osteopath to have their patient’s valid consent before they examine or treat the patient. For the consent to be valid it must be given by a patient who has the capacity to consent.

Sometimes the osteopath may see a patient who does not have the required mental capacity to consent because of the patient’s age or illness. This guidance on obtaining consent, which is supplemental to the Osteopathic Practice Standards, explains the law in the different UK countries as it relates to:

  • examining and treating adults who may not have the capacity to consent;
  • receiving consent for the examination or treatment of young people and children.
Download the guidance here:
Capacity to consent - guidance

The GOsC has developed some guidance to help osteopaths determine whether a patient has the capacity to consent to treatment. Obtaining consent - capacity to consent includes three scenarios based on hypothetical clinical situations with references to the relevant Osteopathic Practice Standards.

What is valid consent?

The legal interpretation of what a patient’s ‘valid’ consent is has developed over time. What are the implications of a 2015 Supreme Court ruling? See the page What is valid consent? for further information.