Informed consent

Informed consent means that your doctor needs to tell you about all the benefits and possible risks, involved with any healthcare treatment or procedure you may need, so you can decide what is best for you.

How can I be sure I get all the information I need?

The most effective way of getting the information you want and need, is by being an active partner in your healthcare decisions alongside your doctor, pharmacist, allied healthcare professional and anyone else you see to manage your health.

Being an active partner means that you ask questions when you don’t understand, and you only make a decision after you understand.

To find out if a treatment is right for you, we suggest you:

  • Keep asking questions until you understand
  • Communicate your thoughts and concerns
  • Ask to have a family member/carer present with you during your appointment/conversation

Informed consent can be done verbally or in writing. For surgical procedures we require you (or your representative) to sign a written consent form once you are satisfied that you have all the information you need, and are ready to go ahead with treatment.

What if I speak a language other than English?

As part of informed consent, you are entitled to have an interpreter available to explain your healthcare treatment or procedure. Please request one if you feel it will help you better understand what is being explained to you.

What if I speak a language other than English?

  • What is my condition?
  • What treatments are available?
  •  What are the benefits of those treatments?
  •  What are the risks of those treatments?
  •  What is the chance of having a bad outcome to the treatment?
  • What would happen if we did nothing and just wait and watch?
  • Are there other procedures or treatments that might also work?
  • Where can I get more information?
  • What happens now?
  • Do I need more appointments?

If you are booked for a surgical procedure you might also like to ask:

  • Am I able to come by myself on the day of surgery or should I bring someone
    with me?
  • Do I need to fast?
  • Can I take my usual medication?
  • How long will I need to stay in hospital for?
  • How long will I need to recover?
  • Will I need time off work?

Please view our video on consent
Informed consent/

Further Information

Health issue centre

Better Health Channel

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

Consumer Reviewed Tick logo
  • Informed Consent #86
  • Owner: Quality & Safety Unit
  • Last Reviewed: February 3, 2023
  • Next Review: July 20, 2027