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Consents

Subject to certain limited and specific exceptions to the Health Information Act (“HIA”) disclosure of health information to parties outside of Alberta Health Services is subject to the consent of the individual patient/client. AHS has developed a consent that meets the requirements of the HIA. Please contact privacy@albertahealthservices.ca to request this form.

To comply with the HIA, a valid consent must include:

  • an authorization for the custodian to disclose the health information specified in the consent;
  • the purpose for which the health information may be disclosed;
  • the identity of the person to whom the health information may be disclosed;
  • an acknowledgement that the consenting individual has been made aware of the reasons why the health information is needed and the risks and benefits to the individual consenting or refusing to consent to the disclosure;
  • the date the consent is effective and the date on which the consent expires; and
  • a statement that the consent may be revoked at any time by the individual providing it.

A consent or revocation of consent must be provided in writing or electronically. An oral consent is not sufficient. A disclosure of health information with consent must be carried out only in accordance with the terms of the consent. A consent that is provided in writing must be signed by the person providing it.

A consent that is provided electronically is valid only if it complies with the requirements set out in the regulations. Under section 6(2) of the Health Information Regulation an electronic consent or revocation of consent is valid only if the level of authentication is sufficient to identify the individual who is granting or revoking the consent.

Except for provisions of the Act which authorize the disclosure of individually identifying diagnostic, treatment and care information without consent and other individually identifying health information, registration information and health services provider information, the absence of consent is interpreted as absence of authority. True consent is informed and voluntary. Individuals cannot be penalized for refusing to consent to certain disclosures through the denial of the provision of health services, particularly if that was the purpose for which the information was originally collected.

You may receive non-AHS consents prepared by insurance companies, law firms, or other government agencies. These forms often do not comply with the requirements of the HIA specified above.