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Consent Policy Resources for Practitioners

A clinical policy came into effect October 31, 2010: Consent to Treatment / Procedure(s). All AHS employees and members of the medical, dental, podiatry and midwifery staff are required to follow the policy.

The Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s) Policy Information supports the rights of patients and families to be informed about the benefits and risks of a proposed treatment or procedure and to make a voluntary decision as to whether to proceed or not.

UPDATE - New Consent Policy Forms (Effective October 22, 2013)  

New Consent Forms (effective October 22, 2013) are currently available on the internal AHS intranet site: Insite. Practitioners are asked to order the new Consent Forms using current processes.

In response to staff and physician input, the Consent to Specific Treatment/Procedure form (09741) has been revised into three separate consent forms: Consent to Treatment Plan or Procedure (09741); Consent to Surgery or Invasive Procedure (18628); and Emergency Health Care: Documentation of Exception to Consent (18629). A separate consent form for Blood Borne Virus testing when not associated with a specific procedural consent has also been developed: Consent to Blood Testing for Blood Borne Viruses (18213).

For more information, including how to use the forms, please see the following:

Note: the Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s) policy has not changed.

The following resources have been developed to support clinicians and staff in the transition to the policy, procedures and forms. All education materials are still relevant, with exception of any reference to the prior Consent to Specific Treatment/Procedure form (09741).  In this case, please refer to the above consent policy resources.

Although the policy came into effect on October 31, 2010, transitions in practice in specific settings or areas will take time. The education resources are for clinicians and staff to consult and refer to. Program and operational areas should also use them to inform broader discussions on the transition (if any) to the requirements of the policy. We encourage you to discuss any potential changes with colleagues, supervisors or managers.

For more information, email: clinical.policy@albertahealthservices.ca

Background and Overview

  1. Guiding Algorithm for Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s) policy suite. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent from a patient or their representatives and highlights the relevant procedure document.
  2. AHS Consent Policy Overview. A video presentation to provide information about the new AHS Consent Policy.
  3. FAQs. Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s).

Policy: Consent to Treatment/Procedures(s)

  1. Summary Sheet for AHS Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s) Policy. This summary provides an overview of the consent process, Emergency Health Care, Refusal and Withdrawal of Consent, and Duration of Consent.
  2. Blood and Blood Products. Informed Consent: Frequently Asked Questions. Express written consent shall be obtained for the transfusion of blood and blood products. Refer to FAQs for further information.

Procedure: Adults with Capacity

  1. Summary Sheet for the Adults with Capacity Procedure. A summary of key points of the Adults with Capacity procedure.
  2. Healthcare Consent Algorithm for Adults with Capacity. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent from an adult patient with capacity to consent.

Procedure: Adults with Impaired Capacity and Adults who Lack Capacity

  1. Impaired Capacity Summary Sheet. A summary of the key points of the procedure for adults with impaired capacity and adults who lack capacity.
  2. Adults Who Lack Capacity - Consent to Healthcare - Non Emergency. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent when an adult patient lacks capacity to consent. (Updated March 22, 2012)
  3. Adults Who Lack Capacity - Consent to Healthcare - Emergency Healthcare. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent when an adult patient lacks capacity to consent and emergency healthcare is required. (Updated March 22, 2012)
  4. Specific Decision Scenarios. Scenarios where a specific decision maker is required.

Procedure: Minors/Mature Minors

  1. Summary Sheet for the Minors/Mature Minors Procedure. A summary of key points of the Minors/Mature Minors procedure and a link to assessment guidelines.
  2. Minors Algorithm. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent for a minor patient.
  3. Mature Minors Algorithm. This algorithm sets out key considerations for the process of obtaining consent for a minor patient who has been assessed to be a mature minor.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions: Consent and Minors. This FAQ will be updated as new information is developed.

Procedure: Formal Patients and Persons Subject to Community Treatment Orders Under the Mental Health Act

  1. Summary Sheet. A summary of key points of the Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s) for Formal Patients and Persons Subject to Community Treatment Orders under the Mental Health Act.

Procedure: Human Tissue and Organ Donation

  1. Summary Sheet for the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Procedure.  A summary of key points of the Human Tissue and Organ Donation procedure.
  2. Consent to Treatment/Procedures. Human Tissue and Organ Donation Algorithm (Adult). Who may provide consent to adult human tissue and organ donation?
  3. Consent to Treatment/Procedures. Human Tissue and Organ Donation Algorithm (Minor). Who may provide consent to minor human tissue and organ donation?

Other Information and Resources

  1. Range of Capacity and Decision Making Algorithm. This algorithm highlights a range of available decision making options for clinicians to consider when obtaining informed consent. 
  2. See the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act for more information regarding decision-making options for health care providers, physicians, patients and families to ensure that consent for health care is obtained from the appropriate decision-maker.
  3. See the Clinical Law FAQs (on Insite) for information regarding guardianship, trusteeship, personal directives, power of attorney, consent, parental rights, charting, mental health community treatment orders and mature minor guidelines.
  4. See Mental Health Act Changes  for more information regarding The Mental Health Act and Community Treatment Order (CTO).
  5. Memorandum: Obtaining Consent for Healthcare for Children in Care.