Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 91–99 | Cite as

Exploring the Patient Consent Process in Community Pharmacy Practice

  • Cicely Roche
  • Felicity Kelliher


This article explores the patient consent process in modern community pharmacy practice and discusses the related ethical dilemmas in this environment. The myth of appropriately informed consent, and irrefutable evidence as to a pharmacist’s intentions when advising a patient, are core issues for discussion. The objective is to clarify where such dilemmas may exist in the consent process and to ultimately form a framework against which ethical guidelines might facilitate resolution of the dilemma faced by the pharmacist who is expected to simultaneously maintain legal and duty of care responsibilities in the patient consent process.


community pharmacy ethics patient consent process 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Applebe, G. E., Wingfield, J., & Taylor, L. 2002, Practical Exercises in Pharmacy Law and Ethics. Pharmaceutical Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Banyard, P. 1996, Applying Psychology to Health. Hodder and Stoughton, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Beauchamp, T. L. (2003). Methods and Principles in Biomedical Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics, 29, 269–274. doi: 10.1136/jme.29.5.269 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergen, B. A. (1993). Building an Effective Therapeutic Alliance: Competence, Trustworthiness, and Caring. American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 50, 2399–2403Google Scholar
  5. Blenkinsopp, A. 2000, Health Promotion for Pharmacists. [2nd ed.] (Oxford University Press, Oxford)Google Scholar
  6. British Medical Association: 2007, British National Formulary (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal Pharmaceutical Society Publishing, London), MarchGoogle Scholar
  7. Chaar, B. (2006). Decisions, Decisions: Ethical Dilemmas in Practice (or How to Pass the ‹Red Face Test’). Australian Pharmacist, 25(6), 444–449Google Scholar
  8. Cusack, D. A. 2000, Autonomy and Consent In: K. Kearon, F. O’Farrell (eds) Medical Ethics and the Future of Healthcare. The Columbia Press, Dublin, pp. 90–99Google Scholar
  9. Denzin, N. K., & Mettlin, C. J. (1968). Incomplete Professionalization: The Case of Pharmacy. Social Forces, 46, 375–381. doi: 10.2307/2574885 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gillon, R. 1985, Philosophical Medical Ethics. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, London)Google Scholar
  11. Haddad, A. M. (1993). Case Study: Keeping Confidences. American Pharmacy, 12, 50–52Google Scholar
  12. Jackson, E. 2006, Medical Law. Text, Cases and Materials. (Oxford University Press, Oxford)Google Scholar
  13. Kelliher, F.: 2007, `Small Firm Cooperative Constructs: Addressing Industry Power Relationships', Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 14(3), 501–513Google Scholar
  14. Latif, D. (2000a), Ethical Cognition and Selection-Socialization in Retail Pharmacy. Journal of Business Ethics, 25(4), 343–358. doi: 10.1023/A:1006097521228 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Latif, D. (2000b), The Link Between Moral Reasoning Scores, Social Desirability, and Patient Care Performance Scores: Empirical Evidence from the Retail Pharmacy Setting. Journal of Business Ethics, 25(3), 255–269. doi: 10.1023/A:1006049605298 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Latif, D. (2001). The Relationship Between Pharmacists’ Tenure in the Community Setting and Moral Reasoning. Journal of Business Ethics, 31(2), 131–141. doi: 10.1023/A:1010771103427 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Manson, N. C., & O’Neill, O. 2007, Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics. (University Press, Cambridge)Google Scholar
  18. McDowell, B. (1990). The Professional’s Dilemma: Choosing Between Service and Success. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 9, 35–52Google Scholar
  19. McDowell, B. 1991, Ethical Conduct and the Professional’s Dilemma: Choosing Between Service and Success. (Quorum Books, New York)Google Scholar
  20. Ottewill, R., & Magirr, P. (1999). Changes in the Ownership of Community Pharmacies: Policy Implications. Public Money and Management, 19(2), 39–44. doi: 10.1111/1467-9302.00164 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Donovan L. J. 2000, A Profession of Trust: Reflections on a Fundamental Virtue In: D. Thomasma, J. Kissell (eds) The Healthcare Professional as Friend and Healer. Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino. (Georgetown University Press, Washington), pp. 1–8Google Scholar
  22. Pellegrino E. D. 2000, Friendship as an Ideal for the Patient-Physician Relationship In: D. Thomasma, J. Kissell (eds) The Healthcare Professional as Friend and Healer. Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino. (Georgetown University Press, Washington), pp 28Google Scholar
  23. Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland 1999, The Practice of Pharmacy Guide. A Handbook for Pharmacists on Law, Ethics and Practice. (Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, Dublin)Google Scholar
  24. Redman, B. K. (1995). The Ethics of Leadership in Pharmacy. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 52, 2099–2104Google Scholar
  25. Resnik, D. B., Ranelli, P. L., & Resnik, S. P. (2000). The Conflict Between Ethics and Business in Community Pharmacy: What About Patient Counselling. Journal of Business Ethics, 28(2), 179–186.. doi: 10.1023/A:1006280300427 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rest, J. R., & Narvaez, D. 1994, Moral Development in the Professions: Psychology and Applied Ethics. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ)Google Scholar
  27. Roche, C.: 2006, `Does Colocation of Prescribers and Dispensers in Primary Care Compromise the Patient's Right to Consent?', Irish Pharmacy Journal 142–146, MayGoogle Scholar
  28. Sanghavi, N. (1995). Pharmacy in a New Age Commercial Environment. Pharmaceutical Journal, 255, 615–618Google Scholar
  29. Schmidt, R., & Pioch, E. (2004). Community Pharmacies Under Pressure: Issues of Deregulation and Competition. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 32(7), 354–257. doi: 10.1108/09590550410541471 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Szeinbach, S. L., Barnes, J. H., Summers, K. L., & Benjamin, B. F. III (1994). The Changing Retail Environment: Its Influence on Professionalism in Chain and Independently Owned Pharmacies. Journal of Applied Business Research, 11(1), 5–15Google Scholar
  31. Wick, J. Y., & Zanni, G. R. (2001). Informed Consent: What Every Pharmacist Should Know. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, 41(4), 523–527Google Scholar
  32. Wingfield, J., Bissell, P., & Anderson, C. (2004). The Scope of Pharmacy Ethics—An Evaluation of the International Research Literature, 1990–2002. Social Science and Medicine, 58, 2383–2396. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.09.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Referred cases

  1. Crawford v Board of Governors of Charing Cross Hospital [1953] CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Geoghegan v Harris [2000] 3 IR 536Google Scholar
  3. Laskey v Morton, Sutton and Wadsworth Health Authority [1999] 40 BMLR 18Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacyTrinity CollegeDublinIreland
  2. 2.School of BusinessWaterford Institute of TechnologyWaterfordIreland

Personalised recommendations