Alasdair Maclean analyses the ethical basis for consent to medical treatment, providing both an extensive reconsideration of the ethical issues and a detailed examination of English law. Importantly, the analysis is given a context by situating consent at the centre of the healthcare professional-patient relationship. This allows the development of a relational model that balances the agency of the two parties with their obligations that arise from that relationship. That relational model is then used to critique the current legal regulation of consent. To conclude, Alasdair Maclean considers the future development of the law and contrasts the model of relational consent with Neil Manson and Ora O'Neill's recent proposal for a model of genuine consent.
Having qualified in medicine and worked clinically in both England and New Zealand, Alasdair Maclean studied law and became a lecturer in medical law at the University of Glasgow. He is now a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee.