Are all consent given for medical treatment valid?


eMediNexus    03 January 2023

Section 10 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, states that an agreement is a contract when it is made for some consideration, between competent parties, by their free consent and for a lawful objectiv. Therefore, in order to enter a contract, free consent is essential.


Section 14 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, states that consent is free when it is not caused by coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation and mistake.


If a patient or his guardian gives consent under coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation or mistake or if the consent is given by a person who is minor, or is mentally unsound, not completely conscious, intoxicated or is not aware of the implications of such consent, then the consent is not considered valid.


Blanket consent given at the time of admission is not valid. A separate consent for specific procedure and for anesthesia before conducting a procedure needs to be taken.


A signed written consent form by itself does not constitute valid consent, though it is evidence of consent given by the patient or his guardian. The following components are essential for a valid consent form:


  • Consent is given by the patient voluntarily, without any coercion.
  • The patient possesses the capacity and competence to give consent.
  • The patient has an adequate level of information about the nature of the procedure he/she is giving the consent for. 

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