Informed consent

Consent is your agreement for a doctor or healthcare professional to provide you with treatment, including any medical or surgical management, care, therapy, test or procedure. Informed Consent in healthcare means we give you clear and easy to understand information to help you make the right decision for your healthcare.

Consent is your agreement for a doctor or healthcare professional to provide you with treatment, including any medical or surgical management, care, therapy, test or procedure.

Informed Consent in healthcare means we give you clear and easy to understand information to help you make the right decision for your healthcare.

You have the right to use an interpreter if English is not your first language. Interpreter services are free and can be provided in person or by telephone. Staff will be able to organise an interpreter for you.

We strongly recommend you use a professional interpreter instead of a family member or friend who may not be familiar with medical words.

Informed Consent definition

Key points to remember about Informed Consent are:

  • your doctor or healthcare professional must discuss your treatment options with you—please ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • it’s your decision to undergo a treatment or procedure
  • your doctor or healthcare professional must have your consent or refusal for each episode of treatment
  • your doctor or healthcare professional must make a formal record of the agreed decision

It’s important to remember that different procedures involve different risks, and complications can be different for each treatment. Please ensure you are fully aware of the possible risks to help you make an informed decision about having the treatment.

When do I give consent?

We ask you to give your consent before undergoing any treatment or procedure, except for life saving or emergency situations.

We also ask for your consent to share medical information with your GP if you have provided their details.

You can refuse a treatment you have previously consented to at any time by advising your healthcare provider.

Types of consent

There are 3 types of consent you may be asked to give, including:

  • Implied consent – your agreement is given by cooperating with a healthcare professional’s instructions for routine procedures.
    Examples of implied consent include when you extend your arm for a blood sample, take and swallow medication that is given to you, or attend an appointment to receive information or advice for the management of your condition.
     
  • Verbal consent – your agreement is given verbally for a treatment or procedure that doesn’t carry a significant risk.
  • Written consent – your agreement is given by signing a document for a treatment or procedure that is complex or carries a higher risk.
Your treatment options

There are many things to consider when deciding about your ongoing treatment.

Most conditions have more than one treatment option and each one may have different risks and expected outcomes.

It’s important to consider these risks and outcomes, as well as your personal needs and needs of your family when deciding on the best treatment option for you.

Good questions to ask

Medical treatment is often complex, and you may receive information that you don’t fully understand.

Please speak to your medical team if you have any concerns about your treatment. Questions to ask your healthcare professional include:

  • Why do you think this procedure is right for me?
  • Is this procedure new or uncommon and what research is available to support your recommendation?
  • How many times have you done this procedure?
  • What are the outcomes of the procedures you have done?
  • How soon do I need this treatment?
  • What can happen if don’t do anything?
  • How long does it take to recover from this treatment or procedure?
  • Do I need to change my lifestyle?
  • What can I do to prepare for the treatment or procedure?
  • Is there a cost?
  • What other information can help me make an informed decision?
  • Can I have some time to discuss my options with family and friends before I decide?
Page last updated on: 22 Sep 2018