If a healthcare professional thinks you need a medical treatment, they must get your consent first. If you don’t give your consent but are treated anyway, the healthcare professional treating you could be taken to court.
What is consent?
Consent means giving your permission for a healthcare professional to give you a particular medical examination or treatment.
Healthcare professionals have to give you all of the information you need to make a decision about whether or not to consent. This includes:
- what the examination or treatment involves
- any benefits or risks
- whether there are any reasonable alternatives
- what will happen if you don’t have the treatment
Consent has to be given voluntarily. This means that you must make the decision whether or not to consent and you shouldn’t be pressured by anyone else.
You must also have capacity to give consent.