The use of information technology to manage patient consent is an important emerging area of research in health data management. This paper identifies literature, technological advances and current thinking on electronic consent (eConsent). Key issues for health care providers (HCP) and consumers are distilled through a content analysis of a cross section of news reports for the year June 2005 to May 2006. For the study we selected countries that are in the process of adopting shared electronic health records, and took the approach of using media analysis. The press is a professional critic as defined by Sauer and Wilcox (2007). The topic of electronic consent (eConsent) is closely aligned with issues of information privacy and related legislation, patient rights, and national culture. Clearly, technology is central to the implementation of eConsent and there are pressing management and security issues to be addressed. This paper will make clear the relationships between these fields of study and comment on the 'state of play' in integrated electronic health record systems today, outlining potential pitfalls.