Patients have the right to make decisions freely about their care, including requesting or refusing therapy. Patients with capacity to act can also appoint another person with capacity to act in a legal declaration made in advance who has the right to exercise the right to give consent to or refuse a treatment. In this declaration patients can also ban any of their relatives from exercising this right.
If the patient lacks capacity to act and there is no appointed representative, then according to the health act, the following order prevails in exercising the right to giving consent or refusing therapy: legal representative, spouse/partner living in the same house, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild.
If the abovementioned people’s statements are opposing, the option favoring the patients’ health condition the best has to be chosen.
The patient does not have to give consent if:
- the patient is in a life-threatening situation;
- cancellation of the intervention poses a threat to other’s health;
- the consent of the appointed representative is delayed and the delay of the intervention leads to severe or a permanent health damage;
- during invasive procedures (that invade the patient’s body) it is necessary to extend the operation – this case is also regarded as an emergency.
Patient can give their consent in oral or written form or in an agreement expressed by conduct, and they can withdraw their consent anytime.
Written statement is necessary:
- before invasive and surgical interventions;
- the utilization of their removed cells, tissues, organs or body parts if their utilization is not related to their care.
Patients can withdraw their consent at any time. If their withdrawal lacks a well-founded cause, the patients are obliged to pay for the necessary emerging charges related to the intervention.