How do I give my consent to treatment?
Our doctors, nurses or therapists will ask you to agree to any form of examination, treatment or care.
They must explain the risks and benefits of the treatment or examination, any available alternative procedures and the risks and benefits if you choose to do nothing for the time being. We may also give you some written information about the procedure that has been planned.
It is important that you understand the information you have been given – please ask questions if you don’t understand or if you want more information. If the person asking for your consent isn’t able to answer your questions, ask them to find out or arrange for someone else to talk to you about your concerns. Remember, you are always free to say no, or to ask for more information.
We may also ask your consent for:
- Storing tissue samples
- Research and trials
- Cell donation (for more information see the Human Tissue Authority Codes of Practice 1 and 6 at www.hta.gov.uk).
Types of consent
There are different ways in which you can give your consent, but you are the only person who can give consent. No one else can do this for you.
Your consent could be simply offering up your arm when a nurse asks to take your blood pressure. By offering your arm, you are giving implied consent without actually saying anything in words. Sometimes you will give your spoken consent. In certain circumstances, you will also be asked to sign a consent form which you will then be given a copy of.
When consenting to any type of treatment you will usually be asked to sign a consent form – a written record that you have agreed to the planned treatment. The main benefits and risks associated with the treatment will be written on the form. We will give you a copy of this document.
It is important to remember that once you have made a decision about treatment, you can change your mind at any time, even after you have signed a consent form.