Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Consumer Engagement - Informed Consent

Consumer and Community Engagement

Informed Consent

WCHN Informed Consent Changes

Informed consent is freely deciding to undergo a medical treatment or procedure after understanding why the treatment is recommended (the benefits), what other treatment is available and what might go wrong during the treatment (what are the risks and complications of the procedure).

  • People aged 16 years or older who are capable of understanding the treatment and the risks and benefits of the treatment have the right to freely decide their health care.
  • Consent is given by the parents or guardian for children and young people aged less than 16 years.
  • In some cases a young person under 16 years can give their own consent.
  • Being able to freely decide means that you feel that you have a choice, that you have enough time to make up your mind, and that you can refuse to have the treatment and be offered ongoing health care.

Before providing consent you should be sure you understand the treatment, the benefits and risks of the treatment and any other treatment you could have. Keep asking questions until you understand.   Some questions you might like to ask are:

  • What happens during this treatment?
  • Why do you suggest this treatment?
  • How will this treatment make my condition better?
  • How long will I take to recover from this procedure?
  • What else could I do to make my condition better? Why aren't these treatments the first choice?
  • What can go wrong?  How often does this happen? What can be done if it does happen?
  • Do you have any information I can read about my condition and the treatment?
  • If you are unsure about the treatment, you can ask to see a different doctor/health care worker for their opinion.
  • If you want an interpreter or cultural consultant, just ask.

If you change your mind, you can inform the doctor/health care worker that you withdraw your consent. The doctor/health care worker will try to understand why you have changed your mind and work with you to develop a new treatment plan. If your personal circumstances change after giving your consent and before the treatment has started, or before the treatment has finished, you should tell your doctor or health care worker, in case the treatment is no longer the best choice for you. In an emergency, urgent treatment can be provided to you/your child without waiting for consent. Your consent or permission is required to take photographs or make video or audio recordings of you.

What is New?

PDF iconOur Consent to Medical Treatment Forms have changed  (161kb)


last modified: 01 May 2019