Medical Informed Consent > Overview > Express Consent

Express Consent

Express consent is what is normally thought of by consent, or when the patient consents by direct words, written or oral. Virginia law requires written consent only in cases of breast biopsy, in vitro fertilization or HIV testing. Written consent is also required for cases to be performed in the operating room by hospital policy that is mandated for Joint Commission accreditation. In other cases, the law simply requires consent, but written consent is suggested for the purpose of proof. Telephone consent is also acceptable, if necessary. In these cases, it is a good idea to have a second person on the telephone, again for the purpose of proof.

Legally, informed consent is valid for a reasonable period of time. Per JCAHO, this reasonable period of time consists of 30 days. In cases where treatments are planned in advance, such as chemotherapy, consent may be obtained for the treatments to be provided up to 6 months in advance.


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