Did you know about it?
The Law n°1.454 of October, 30th 2017 on consent and information in medical field now provides a statutory basis for the guaranty of patient’s consent to a medical act and the information obligation in medical field.
Any healthcare professional who is in charge to perform or prescribe a medical act or treatment is required to obtain beforehand the free and informed patient’s consent.
The healthcare professional must respect the patient’s will since the patient has been informed of the consequences of his decision, even if his refusal may put his life in danger. In case of potential life-threatening consequences, the healthcare professional invites the patient to reiterate his will in writing within a reasonable period determined on the basis of the circumstances and in particular the urgency. After the expiry of this period, the act or treatment cannot be performed or prescribed without the patient’s consent.
To enable the patient to give a free and informed consent, the healthcare professional informs him during a personal interview, except in case of emergency, of any necessary element to the understanding of his state of health and the likely evolution. He is also informed of the proposed medical act or treatment, the urgency, the usefulness and the consequences, the usual or serious risks reasonably foreseeable and the alternatives and the predictable consequences in case of refusal.
To learn more about it
The consent to the medical act or treatment is also required for minors and people who have a guardian, as their discerning ability make them able to express their will. Failing this, they are involved in the decision-making process.
The guardian or the legal representatives’ free and informed consent must also be obtained, except in case of emergency.
To obtain the guardian or the legal representatives’ free and informed consent, the healthcare professional provides them information about the person who has a guardian or the minor’s state of health. He also informs, in a discerning ability-appropriate manner, the minor or the person who is under tutelage.
When the minor or the person under tutelage is not in danger, when his consent is required, his consent doesn’t allow to carry on regardless the guardian or the legal representatives’ refusal and vice versa.
However, when the person under tutelage or the minor’s life is in danger, the healthcare professional may disregard the legal representatives or the guardian and the minor or person under tutelage’s consent, when it is required.