Informed Consent Law & Legal Definition


Informed consent is generally agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only after all the relevant facts are disclosed. Informed consent often refers to consent to a medical procedure after the patient has been made aware of all the risks and consequences. Medical professionals commonly have patients sign informed consent forms to limit their liability if the patient later sues them based upon the outcome of the procedure. 

Such consents are regulated by state informed health care consent laws, which vary by state. These laws define who will make health care decisions for you, if you are unable to make them for yourself. This law authorizes certain persons to provide consent for minors or persons who are incapacitated and, therefore, unable to make or communicate their own medical decisions. The law establishes a priority list of persons who are authorized to provide informed consent to health care on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated person. If you are an adult, the law usually requires that a doctor determine that you are an incapacitated person before anyone is authorized to consent on your behalf.

Informed consent is defined as: “the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.” In re Collmar, 417 B.R. 920, 923 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. 2009)