Informed Consent occurs when an individual knowingly gives their acceptance or permission without undue pressure, force, fraud, or any other form of duress. A patient can only provide informed consent once they have been provided with clear, concise, and comprehensive information that includes all risks, benefits, and alternatives of a procedure or treatment.
Informed consent usually requires a patient to sign a consent form, or a legal document, that states a medical professional has provided the patient with all the information and time necessary to make a fully-informed decision. A consent form also states that the patient understands the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure or treatment they are agreeing to. Patients always have the right to refuse any and all procedures and treatments, even after signing a consent form. Treatments cannot be given without patient consent, except in emergency situations in which a patient and/or representative cannot or is not available to give consent.