Dementia and the law in frontline radiography: the practical experiences of junior clinicians in the UK

Booth, Lisa, Miller, Paul K. and Spacey, Adam (2017) Dementia and the law in frontline radiography: the practical experiences of junior clinicians in the UK. In: UK Radiological Congress, 12-14 June 2017, Manchester Central Convention Centre, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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Background: Informed consent remains the cornerstone of ethical and lawful clinical practice. However, for consent to be valid, the patient must be given sufficient information, give their consent freely and they must be competent. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) provides guidance on how practitioners might proceed with procedures where a patient might lack competence, for example with patients who have Dementia, though it is recognised that many health practitioners do not apply the MCA in practice. Given the increase in the numbers of individuals suffering from Dementia, and the problems related to gaining consent within this group, this study aims to determine how radiographers apply the guidance of the MCA to their practice when caring for patients who have Dementia.

Method: In line with the orthodox methods of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), six junior radiographers (mean experience = 3.5 years) were interviewed. All interviews were semi-structured, conducted and recorded in a place of the participant's convenience, and transcribed verbatim. The mean interview duration was 40 minutes.

Findings: Through an on-going study, currently three superordinate themes emerge from the data; Presumed lack of capacity; lack of explanation; and compliance versus consent. Preliminary analysis reveals that the MCA is not routinely applied in general radiographic practice and that this practice is therefore at times unethical, and perhaps even unlawful.

Conclusions: Though limited in scale these preliminary findings suggest a need for better education, training on how to apply the MCA during radiographic procedures and a basis for further investigation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 16 May 2017 12:36
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 10:17


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