Informed Consent Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Informed Consent, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Informed Consent?

Performing or acting only after the agreement or consent of one to do certain things agreed upon and that all the facts has been disclosed. A conscious and sound minded patient must be informed all the consequence of the operation before perfoming the same by the physician. Usually the informed consent is used in medical world as well as it applies on the defendant who has full right to be informed the consequences before they decide to surrender.

History and Meaning of Informed Consent

The concept of informed consent can be traced back to the ancient Hippocratic Oath, which physicians take to uphold ethical standards in medicine. In modern times, informed consent has become an integral part of medical and legal ethics. The term refers to the process of obtaining permission or agreement from a patient or research subject after disclosing all relevant information about the intended procedure or study. The informed consent process aims to facilitate an autonomous decision-making process and respect the individual’s right to self-determination.

Examples of Informed Consent

  1. Before any medical procedure, a doctor explains all the potential risks, benefits, and alternatives to the patient and obtains their written consent before proceeding.
  2. A researcher provides participants in a clinical trial with all the necessary information about the study, including its purpose, procedures, potential risks and benefits, and any compensation or incentives. Participants have the right to ask questions and decide whether or not to participate.
  3. A lawyer explains the terms of a legal document to a client before they sign it, including any contractual obligations, consequences of breaching the contract, and liabilities. The client has the opportunity to ask questions and seek legal advice before consenting to the agreement.

Legal Terms Similar to Informed Consent

  1. Implied consent: Consent inferred from a person's conduct and actions.
  2. Express consent: Consent given explicitly in writing or verbally.
  3. Capacity: The ability to understand and make informed decisions about one's medical or legal affairs.
  4. Coercion: The use of undue pressure, manipulation, or threats to force someone to agree to something against their will.
  5. Assent: Agreement or consent given by someone who may not have the legal capacity to make a decision, such as a minor.