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Informed consent

1-minute read

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.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2020

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Informed Consent - For Consumers | Queensland Health

Consumer links related to informed consent.

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Understanding informed consent and your rights when having a baby

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Informed consent for carers - Better Health Channel

Informed consent means that a person understands their condition and any proposed medical treatment and carers can help with the decision-making process.

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Informed consent | Lifeblood

Treatment with blood transfusion needs to be carefully discussed with your doctor.

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Why do I even need this test? A Diagnostic Imaging and Informed Consent Consumer Resource

This information is for people who want to find out more about why they have been asked to have a diagnostic test and what it could involve – so that they can make an informed choice about it.

Read more on Consumers Health Forum of Australia website

My Healthcare Rights - A guide for people with cognitive impairment | Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

This resource describes what to expect when going to hospital, information about informed consent and what to do if something doesn't go to plan. The Easy English version of this guide is available here

Read more on Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website

Consent for treatment - NSW Health Care Complaints Commission

fact sheet on consent for treatment

Read more on Health Care Complaints Commission NSW website

What will I have to pay for treatment? | Cancer Council

Find information about out-of-pocket costs and informed financial consent for people with cancer and for those caring for someone with cancer

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Adoption of your child | NT.GOV.AU

What happens if you decide to adopt your child, including information on consent, finalising the adoption and your rights after adoption.

Read more on NT Health website

Making decisions about treatment | Cancer Australia Childrens Cancers

General advice on making decisions about treatment for your child with cancer.

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