ten takeaways

Informed Consent Part 2 - What information must a healthcare practitioner provide?

Natmed’s Ten Takeaway series is a first stop point of reference for busy healthcare practitioners and healthcare facility operators and intended to be reference in conjunction with the Natmed “What If?” series, Natmed Medical Defence Review and the Natmed Glossary of Medical Negligence and Insurance Terms.

Download PDF


Ten Takeways - Informed Consent Part 2 - What information must a healthcare practitioner provide?


  1. In order for consent to medical treatment to be “informed”, the healthcare practitioner must give the patient sufficient information to make their decision.
  2. You must provide information relating to the patient’s health status (except if there is substantial evidence that providing the information would be contrary to the patient’s best interests).
  3. You must set out the range of diagnostic procedures and treatment options generally available to the patient.
  4. You must explain the benefits, risks, costs and consequences generally associated with each option.
  5. You must explain the user's right to refuse health services.
  6. You must explain the implications, risks and obligations of a refusal of health services.
  7. Where possible, the information listed above must be provided in a language that the patient understands.
  8. When providing information to a patient, you must take into account the patient’s level of literacy.
  9. Patients must not be pressured or unduly influenced into accepting a healthcare practitioner’s advice or recommendations for any medical treatment.
  10. You should check that the patient understands all of the above issues relevant to consent, to ensure that whatever decision the patient makes is properly informed.

Informed Consent Part 1

Natmed’s Ten Takeaway series is a first stop point of reference for busy healthcare practitioners and healthcare facility operators and intended to be reference in conjunction with the Natmed “What If?” series, Natmed Medical Defence Review and the Natmed Glossary of Medical Negligence and Insurance Terms.

Download PDF


Ten Takeways - Informed Consent Part 1


  1. You cannot treat a patient without their informed consent.
  2. Informed consent requires the patient to have full knowledge of their diagnosis, proposed treatments and its risks and complications, alternative treatment, and the patients’ right to refuse treatment and the consequences of that refusal.
  3. In obtaining informed consent you must use a language and communicate in a manner the patient understands.
  4. Treating a patient without their informed consent is a violation of the patients’ right to body or physical integrity.
  5. A patient has the right to refuse treatment except where the refusal may harm others.
  6. Consent, if given may be withdrawn by a patient at any time.
  7. Special rules apply to consenting to a termination of pregnancy or sterilisation.
  8. Special rules apply to consenting to medical treatment or a surgical operation in respect of a child.
  9. Special rules apply to consenting to medical treatment of mentally ill persons.
  10. Special rules apply when a person agrees to participate as the subject of medical research, or to donate human tissue.