7 Things You Should Know about Consent

Consent goes beyond just having a patient sign their name on a form. It’s a process that requires a thorough conversation between the patient and person giving the treatment. This conversation must provide opportunities for the PT and the patient to discuss the issue, consider treatment options, ask questions and have those questions answered.

Here are seven things you should know about consent listed not in any particular order or exhaustive.

  1. A patient can withdraw their consent at any time.

  2. Patients or substitute decision makers must have enough information to make an informed decision and be given an opportunity to ask questions.

  3. Consent must cover the following: Nature of treatment, benefits of treatment, risks of treatment, side effects of treatment, alternative courses of action, and consequences of not having treatment.

  4. When working with a patient who is not fluent in English, do not assume that the patient is capable or incapable of providing informed consent. Consider using an interpreter or someone else who is fluent in their language and English.

  5. Consent can be obtained by one person on behalf of a team as long as the patient can ask about specific elements of the plan being offered by a specific provider.

  6. You need to have patients consent to include a support person in his or her care. Patients have the right to make an informed choice.

  7. A physiotherapist must release a copy of the patient record to the patient, or their representative, if they request it.