Understanding the difference between these two forms of consent can be difficult as they sound so similar in nature and they both give the impression that consent, or the act of giving permission is necessary for something to occur. Regardless of whether the consent is given orally or in writing, certain criteria must be met in order for the consent to be considered valid such as the necessary mental capacity to give consent, along with consent that is specific to procedure that has been proposed. Our legal team can assist you in being able to  understand what these two legal definitions mean and how they may pertain to you.

What is Express Consent?

Express consent is permission given either in writing or orally. Any type of medical procedure that is considered to be invasive in nature requires express consent on the part of the patient and is required when there are potential risks to the patient. In order to protect the physician, express consent is usually given in writing. The patient is required to sign a form stating that the doctor has provided them with the necessary disclosures for informed consent. The form also states that the patient has elected to proceed with the medical procedure or treatments. Examples include participating in a clinical trial or having surgery.

What is Implied Consent ? 

Implied consent occurs when a patient’s actions demonstrate the patient’s desire to proceed with treatment or a medical procedure. One example of this would be showing up for bloodwork and rolling up your sleeve. It is important to note that implied consent often is utilized in emergency situations. A physician may perform any necessary procedures to save a patient’s life through the legal precedent of implied consent. This precedent also applies if a patient is in surgery and complications make it necessary to perform additional procedures.

Can I Change My Mind About Giving Consent ?

The short answer is yes,  adults have the legal right to decide what happens to their own bodies. As such, you have the right to consent to treatment,  refuse to consent to treatment, withdraw consent, and refuse consent of treatment even if it is likely to lead to serious consequences such as injury or possible death. The ability to withdraw consent may also occur even if treatment has already begun, as long as the procedure has not been fully completed.

If you still have questions or concerns about express and implied consent please seek the help of our experienced legal team. Our attorneys have the skill and legal proficiency to assist you in this legal field. Everyone should be able to understand their rights regarding consent when it comes to medical procedures or treatments. Contact us ( 301) 589-2999 and schedule an appointment to speak with us. We look forward to serving you.

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