Introduction 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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