WA Health system

Giving informed consent in hospital

Informed consent means understanding your treatment options and making the right decision for you.

With every procedure there is some element of risk involved. It is important that you have fully understood the level of risk relevant to your particular procedure.

Your treatment is your choice, and when it comes to having an operation or test, especially one that may involve risk, you need to give ‘informed consent’.

In other words, you’ll need to agree to the procedure or treatment suggested by your doctor for your medical condition.

Ask questions if you don't understand

To provide this consent, you must be fully informed of your treatment options – including expected outcomes, risks and benefits and known complications, so you can decide which treatment is best for you.

Informed consent requires your doctor or health professional to discuss all options with you – even the option of doing nothing at all. Remember, you are entitled to seek a second opinion.

Only you can judge which outcomes you are willing to accept

Your doctor will recommend an option for your treatment based on his or her expertise and knowledge. However, only you know about your lifestyle, the demands of your job and family and your personal needs and preferences. Whether or not medical treatment is to take place is your decision.

The final decision rests with you.

Video – Informed consent and understanding your risk

Watch more of our videos at the WA Health YouTube channel (external site).

Read the video transcript – Informed consent and understanding your risk.


Acknowledgements

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit