Disability

April 2011

Professional

Capacity to consent to treatment

Volume 40, No.4, April 2011 Pages 249-250

Sara Bird

A competent adult patient has an ethical and legal right to give, or withhold, consent to an examination, investigation or treatment. Depending on the nature and complexity of an intervention, a patient with an intellectual disability may be capable of consenting to their own medical treatment. In circumstances in which an adult patient does not have the capacity to consent, there is specific guardianship legislation enacted in each state and territory which provides for valid consent by a substitute decision maker.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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