ten takeaways

Natmed's Ten Takeaways - Informed Consent

Natmed’s Ten Takeaway series is a first stop point of reference for busy healthcare practitioners and healthcare facility operators and intended to be reference in conjunction with the Natmed “What If?” series, Natmed Medical Defence Review and the Natmed Glossary of Medical Negligence and Insurance Terms.

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Ten Takeways - Informed Consent


  1. You cannot treat a patient without their informed consent.
  2. Informed consent requires the patient to have full knowledge of their diagnosis, proposed treatments and its risks and complications, alternative treatment, and the patients’ right to refuse treatment and the consequences of that refusal.
  3. In obtaining informed consent you must use a language and communicate in a manner the patient understands.
  4. Treating a patient without their informed consent is a violation of the patients’ right to body or physical integrity.
  5. A patient has the right to refuse treatment except where the refusal may harm others.
  6. Consent, if given may be withdrawn by a patient at any time.
  7. Special rules apply to consenting to a termination of pregnancy or sterilisation.
  8. Special rules apply to consenting to medical treatment or a surgical operation in respect of a child.
  9. Special rules apply to consenting to medical treatment of mentally ill persons.
  10. Special rules apply when a person agrees to participate as the subject of medical research, or to donate human tissue.