Patient consent is required on every occasion the doctor wishes to initiate an examination or treatment or any other intervention, except in emergencies or where the law prescribes otherwise such as where compulsory treatment is authorised by mental health legislation).

Consent may be explicit or implied. Explicit or express consent is when a person actively agrees, either orally or in writing.

Consent can also be implied, signalled by the behaviour of an informed patient. Implied consent is not a lesser form of consent but it only has validity if the patient genuinely knows and understands what is being proposed. The provision of sufficient accurate information is an essential part of seeking consent.

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