Ensuring informed consent is properly obtained is a legal, ethical and professional requirement on the part of all treating health professionals and supports person-centred care.
Informed consent is a person’s decision, given voluntarily, to agree to a healthcare treatment, procedure or other intervention that is made:
- Following the provision of accurate and relevant information about the healthcare intervention and alternative options available; and
- With adequate knowledge and understanding of the benefits and material risks of the proposed intervention relevant to the person who would be having the treatment, procedure or other intervention.
At the Commission, we believe informed consent is a key quality and safety issue.
Good clinical practice involves ensuring that informed consent is validly obtained and appropriately timed.
Informed consent is integral to the right to information in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights, and recognised in Professional Codes of Conduct. Additionally, the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards require all hospitals and day procedures services to have informed consent processes that comply with legislation, lawful requirements and best practice.
The Commission has resources available on informed consent.