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Informed Consent

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is a law that requires you to give permission before your child gets medical treatment. You may also need to give informed consent before your child has surgery or certain diagnostic procedures. After a healthcare provider explains everything to you and answers your questions, you will be asked to sign a form. This form confirms that you have received the information and that you give permission for your child to have the test or treatment. Take your time to read the whole document so that you know exactly what you are signing.

What do I need to know?

Before you have a treatment or test, you need to know:

  • what condition or illness your child has
  • why a particular test or treatment is needed or recommended
  • the benefits of having the test or procedure
  • the most common risks and possible complications of the test or treatment
  • other options (You can choose to refuse the test or treatment as long as you understand the risks and possible complications if you do not take your provider’s advice.)
  • the chances of success for the recommended treatment or test
  • how long the recovery period, if any, is likely to be

Are there any special rules?

There are situations where there may be special rules for informed consent. For example, if your child is severely hurt and it is an emergency, you may not be able to give consent. Children or people who cannot legally make their own decisions cannot give consent for themselves. Each state has laws about informed consent, especially for children and people who are mentally or physically unable to give consent.

What is the benefit of informed consent?

Being informed is very important for a trusting and successful relationship with your healthcare provider. Be sure to ask all of the questions that you may have so that you fully understand your child’s condition and treatment choices. When you better understand your child’s care and choices, you can play an active role in your child’s healthcare.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-06-10
Last reviewed: 2011-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2012 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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