Clinical Case Database / Category: Management

Consent in ophthalmology: obtaining consent prior to cataract surgery

Publication details

Dr Zahir B Mirza, Dr Zainab Laftah, Mr Sreekanth Sreekantam, Mr Haidar A W Al-Hakim
Foundation Years Journal, volume 4, issue 6, p.5 (123Doc Education, London, June 2010)


Cataract surgery is a commonly performed procedure in the UK. When obtaining consent from patients, the junior doctor should be aware of the information that should be provided and the questions that patients may ask about the procedure. There are established national and local guidelines for obtaining consent available, however, this article aims to present a possible practical application of such guidelines. We use a simple case scenario to demonstrate and explain some of the issues and questions that may arise while obtaining consent from a patient.

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Dr Zahir B Mirza

Academic FY2 Doctor
Heartlands Hospital
Bordesely Green East
Birmingham B9 5SS

Dr Zainab Laftah

FY2 Doctor
University Hospital Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TH

Mr Sreekanth Sreekantam

Clinical Research Fellow in Ophthalmology
Heartlands Hospital
Bordesely Green East
Birmingham B9 5SS

Mr Haidar A W Al-Hakim

Specialty Doctor in Ophthalmology
Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
Pond Street
London NW3 2QG


1. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists: Scientific Department (2007) Cataract Surgery Guidelines 2004, amendment April 2007. London: The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
2. General Medical Council (2008) Consent: Patients and Doctors Making Decisions Together. Guidence for doctors. London: General Medical Council.
3. Riaz Y, Mehta JS, Wormald R, Evans JR, Foster A, Ravilla T, Snellingen T (2006) Surgical interventions for age-related cataract. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, (4):CD001323; OI:10.1002/14651858.CD001323.pub2.
4. Desai P, Minassian DC, Reidy A (1999) National cataract surgery survey 1997–1998: a report of the results of the clinical outcomes. Br J Ophthalmol, 83:1336–1340.


Conflict Of Interest

The Journal requires that authors disclose any potential conflict of interest that they may have. This is clearly stated in the Journal’s published “Guidelines for Authors”. The Journal follows the Guidelines against Conflict of Interest published in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (

Financial Statement

The authors of this article have not been paid. The Journal is financed by subscriptions and advertising. The Journal does not receive money from any other sources. The decision to accept or refuse this article for publication was free from financial considerations and was solely the responsibility of the Editorial Panel and Editor-in-Chief.

Patient Consent statement

All pictures and investigations shown in this article are shown with the patients’ consent. We require Authors to maintain patients’ anonymity and to obtain consent to report investigations and pictures involving human subjects when anonymity may be compromised. The Journal follows the Guidelines of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts ( The Journal requires in its Guidelines for Authors a statement from Authors that “the subject gave informed consent”.

Animal & Human Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, the Journal requires authors to indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the HelsinkiDeclaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.

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T​he Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is​ a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.

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