Consent, Capacity and Enforcement

Patients have the right to refuse or accept healthcare investigations and interventions. Consent is sometimes implied by decisions or actions. In many cases, however, it needs to be explicitly informed and documented in the legal record of care. All formal consents must be recorded in the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). 

Sometimes patients are compelled to accept healthcare investigations and interventions. Provisions of the Mental Health Act set criteria that must be met, and processes that must be followed, when patient's lack capacity and are a threat to themselves or others. Provisions of the Public Health Act set criteria for compelling a non-consenting patient to testing, treatment or isolation related to a communicable disease posing a public health threat.

Documentation of consent and capacity for healthcare decision-making is streamlined through Connect Care's "Consent & eForms Navigator" (formerly known as the Consent Navigator). Additionally, orders can be placed to document and flag that patient care is subject to provisions of either the Mental Health Act or the Public Health Act.

Key Points

Special Situations

Some consent and legal constraints documentation needs may be complicated by unique challenges, as may occur in custody, abuse, forensic and disciplinary contexts. A tip sheet provides instruction about how to document such situations and associated legal advice.

More Information

How-to Resources