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Informed consent

Informed consent in healthcare means you will be given understandable and clear information about your choices so you can make the right decisions about your health and healthcare. 

Consent is your agreement for a healthcare professional to provide you with treatment and care, including any tests, medicines, treatments or procedures you agree to.

Before you give your consent, make sure:

  • your doctor or healthcare professional has explained each of the options available to you
  • that any risks, and the likelihood of those risks, are explained
  • you understand the benefits
  • you understand the purpose of the action you are consenting to.

If you are not sure at any stage, be sure to ask your doctor.

Informed consent is different for different people. To provide informed consent you may need:

  • an interpreter if English is not your first language and you find it hard to communicate with the doctor or healthcare professional
  • a friend, family member, or support person to discuss options with prior to giving consent
  • to consider any associated costs, changes to lifestyle, or recovery time required.

Read this guide to help you decide what questions to ask your doctor, or follow the links below to find trusted information about informed consent.

Last reviewed: July 2016

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