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Traditionally, informed consent for clinical research involves the patient reading an approved Participant Information Sheet, considering the information presented and having as much time as they need to discuss the study information with their friends and relatives, their clinical care and the research teams. This system works well in the 'planned' or 'elective' setting. But what happens if the patient requires urgent treatment for an injury or emergency? This article reviews the legal framework which governs informed consent in the emergency setting, discusses how the approach taken may vary according to the details of the emergency and the treatment required, and reports on the patients' view of providing consent following a serious injury. We then provide some practical tips for managing the process of informed consent in the context of injuries and emergencies. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:147-150.

Original publication




Journal article


The bone & joint journal

Publication Date





147 - 150


University of Oxford, NDORMS, Kadoorie Centre, Level 3 John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.


Humans, Wounds and Injuries, Emergencies, Mental Competency, Biomedical Research, Informed Consent, United Kingdom