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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 2018

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Informed Consent - For Consumers | Queensland Health

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Informed consent for carers - Better Health Channel

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Informed Consent in Healthcare: An Issues Paper | Consumers Health Forum

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues relating to consumers and informed consent in healthcare.

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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.

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The law and cancer on Vimeo

This webinar, recorded at the Counterpart Resource Centre in Melbourne, on 16 April 2018, explains laws around informed consent, medicinal cannabis and alternative

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Listed below are information and resources for patients undergoing surgery.

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Webinar recordings – health consumers

This page contains links to recordings from webinars for consumers held buy the Health Care Complaints Commission.

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Principles of screening - National Cancer Control Policy

Read about the principles of population screening for cancer. Benefits and harms, informed consent, economic issues

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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.

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Before a transfusion | Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

Treatment with blood transfusion is carefully considered in discussion with your doctor. Find out more about your condition and treatment options to make an informed decision about your transfusion.

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