- Informed Consent
- What is informed consent and what does it involve?
- Why does the doctor need me to sign a consent form?
- What are the legal requirements of informed consent?
- How will I be given information for an informed consent?
- What questions should I ask during informed consent?
- Can I change my mind after I’ve signed the consent?
- What if I don’t want the treatment that is being offered?
- How is informed consent for a clinical trial or research study different from consent for standard treatment?
- How is shared decision-making different from informed consent?
- What if I want my doctor to make the decisions about my care, and I don’t want more information?
- How can I find out more?
- To learn more
To learn more
More information from your American Cancer Society
We have selected some related information that may also be helpful to you. These materials may be ordered from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read online at www.cancer.org.
Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know (also in Spanish)
Patient’s Bill of Rights (also in Spanish)
Understanding Cancer Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)
Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)
Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)
National organizations and Web sites*
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information include:
Your state or city Bar Association
Check your local phone book or find it online at the American Bar Association Web site: www.abanet.org/barserv/stlobar.html
Your community’s Legal Aid Society
If your income is limited, look in your phone book or check the online information at the American Bar Association Web site; click on your state and look for “Free Legal Help” at www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
Cancer Legal Resource Center
Toll-free number: 1-866-843-2572 (leave a message for call back—it may take several days)
Web site: www.cancerlegalresourcecenter.org
Offers free, confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues, including living wills/durable powers of attorney for health care/advance directives
National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
Web site: www.cancer.gov
Offers current information about cancer and cancer treatment, living with cancer, clinical trials, and research
American Hospital Association
Web site: www.aha.org/aha/issues/Communicating-With-Patients/pt-care-partnership.html
Read their “Patient Care Partnership” brochure online at the Web site above for more on patients’ rights and responsibilities in the hospital. Also available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Russian.
No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Bickmore TW, Pfeifer LM, Paasche-Orlow MK. Using computer agents to explain medical documents to patients with low health literacy. Patient Educ Couns. 2009;75:315-320.
Breitsameter C. Medical decision-making and communication of risks: an ethical perspective. J Med Ethics. 2010;36(6):349-52.
Derse AR. What part of “no” don’t you understand? Patient refusal of recommended treatment in the emergency department. Mt Sinai J Med. 2005;72:221-227.
Emedicine Health. Informed Consent. Accessed at www.emedicinehealth.com/informed_consent/article_em.htm on July 25, 2012.
Lee MK, Noh DY, Nam SJ, et al. Association of shared decision-making with type of breast cancer surgery: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2010;10:48.
National Cancer Institute. A Guide to Understanding Informed Consent. Accessed at www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/conducting/informed-consent-guide/page1 on July 25, 2012.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Informed Consent – FAQs. Accessed at http://answers.hhs.gov/ohrp/categories/1566 on July 25, 2012.
White G. Obtaining informed consent: It’s more than a signature. Am J Nursing. 2000;100:83.
Whitney SN, McGuire AL, McCullough LB. A typology of shared decision making, informed consent, and simple consent. Ann Intern Med. 2003;140:54-59.
Last Medical Review: 07/27/2012
Last Revised: 07/27/2012