Consenting to Treatment

The bedrock of health and medical treatment is consent.  You must give permission to the health practitioner to perform the treatment. While most of the time this is straightforward, it is not always the case.

Issues with consent can arise where:

  1. Inadequate information is given to a person before they consent to treatment
  2. Consent is given for one type of treatment, but another type of treatment is actually given
  3. A person may not have capacity to weigh up a decision whether to have treatment or not. This may include children.
  4. A person refuses to have treatment
  5. A child wants to have a special type of medical treatment, such as gender reassignment therapy
  6. A person has created a health directive, but its terms are uncertain
  7. A person’s advanced health wishes are not followed

As part of our health law services, we have particular expertise on consent issues relating to health and medical treatment. Our services include advice and representation on:

Legal disputes about consenting to or refusing treatment often raise moral and ethical considerations, such as a person’s right to control their body and the communities’ interest in protecting the health and wellbeing of its citizens. We understand these complex issues and have the skills to navigate these considerations.

While our services are focussed towards consumers, we can provide advice and representation to health services on issues of consent generally, and in Court and Tribunal applications.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our team to discuss your health consent questions or concerns.

Further reading

For more information or to make an appointment in either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office:

p: +61 2 6206 1300 | e:

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