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Updated Statement on informed consent

The Medical Council has recently revisited its Statement on informed consent.

Informed consent is a very important aspect of care. This statement sets out the standards of good medical practice when discussing options for treatment and obtaining consent from patients. We are pleased to share this statement with you.

Some important points

The key points about informed consent are:

• Every time treatment is provided, a doctor must have permission to provide that treatment. The process of obtaining that permission is called ‘informed consent’. Without informed consent, the treatment may be unlawful. To help the patient decide whether they want a treatment, they first need to be given information, such as the risks and benefits of their treatment options.
• Obtaining consent is a process of shared decision-making where a doctor helps the patient understand their medical condition and the options for treating (or not treating) that condition. It is more than signing forms and completing paperwork. As a doctor, you need to take the time to ask questions so that you understand what matters to your patient, and what their concerns, wishes, goals and values are.

Who is this statement for?

This statement will support patients to understand what they can expect from their doctors when discussing options for their treatment.

The statement sets out the standards for good medical practice that doctors must meet.

This statement may be used by the Medical Council, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, and the Health and Disability Commissioner as a standard by which to consider issues related to conduct.

Please feel free to forward this email onto anyone or organisation who may have an interest in the subject.

You can access the statement on our website at the following link:

Ngā mihi nui

Joan Simeon
Chief Executive
Medical Council of New Zealand

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