Student member Gemma Norburn gives an overview of the recent Consent Training
On Friday 20th April on a hot day in London, I had the absolute pleasure of spending a day at the AAPT head office in the city. This did mean getting on the tube in rush hour, but it also meant getting to spend some time with some great people. I was lucky to have secured a place on the Consent Training Day 2018 where professionals from all across the specialism from midwives and APTs to pathologists got together to learn about post-mortem consent.
The structure of the day began with a talk from a representative of the HTA Lisa Carter who discussed the regulation of consent, followed by another talk from a member of the AAPT Martin Goddard around the different types of consent and how they are given/taken, and ended with an afternoon in a workshop group discussing scenarios. I took my seat second row from the front (my eyesight is not the best) and studiously took notes the whole day determined to get out of the sessions what I could.
Consent is something that is hugely important in our role as APTs. Our most common type of post-mortem is a Coronial one where it has been ordered by the Coroner. This is unavoidable and consent is not required from the deceased prior to death or from their relatives. However, in the case of research or for other interests there are post-mortems undertaken (often known as Hospital post-mortems) and for these full consent must be granted.
This consent process is not complicated but is thorough and there are a number of guidelines around how best to approach and record. I won’t go into heaps of detail here but it is a fascinating and intricate process to ensure that the family receives the best for their relative and nothing happens they wouldn’t want it to. This particularly focuses on the retention of any tissue and what it is used for, ensuring that nothing is kept unknowingly or for purposes unknown.
I had a brilliant day at the course and saw a few people I had previously met and also met some new people which is great. So pleased to be a part of this and hope I can help with the progression the profession continues to have. I hope this basic run down of the day will encourage any new trainees to push for a place on the next Consent training day and get out of it as much as I did!