Skip to main content

Consent


Click on an answer below to receive feedback.

You are an LPN working on a surgical unit. While preparing your client for a procedure he tells you he is unsure if he still wants to go through with it. He has already signed the surgical consent form. You understand the procedure. What is your responsibility in this situation?

A: Provide your client with an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about the proposed plan of care. Let him know that he has the right to revoke consent at any time.

Correct! LPNs recognize, respect and promote clients’ rights to be informed about their health care. LPNs help clients understand that they have the right to refuse or revoke consent at any time and for any reason. (See Principles 1 and 12 in the BCCNP Consent Practice Standard).

B: Explain to your client that when he signed the surgical consent form he confirmed that he understood the risks and benefits of the procedure and gave his permission to go ahead.

That’s not correct. LPNs recognize that while clients may agree to an initial plan of care, they may also change their mind. Decision-making about health care is an ongoing process. LPNs help clients understand that they have the right to refuse or revoke consent at any time and for any reason. (See Applying the Principles to Practice and Principle 12 in the BCCNP Consent Practice Standard).

C: Tell your client it is probably in his best interest to cancel the procedure and recommend he seek a second opinion. Advocate for your client’s procedure to be cancelled.

That’s not correct. LPNs respect clients' rights to make decisions about their own health care and to give, refuse or revoke consent. LPNs are aware of the difference in power between themselves and clients and do not use that power to influence the client’s decision. LPNs respect the right of clients to seek further information or another opinion, and to involve others in the decision-making and consent process. (See Principles 2, 10 and 11 in the BCCNP Consent Practice Standard).

D: Explain that if he wants more information about the procedure or to revoke his consent, he needs to speak to his phy​sician.

That’s not correct. LPNs help clients understand the risks and benefits of the procedure and that they have the right to refuse or revoke consent at any time and for any reason. (See Principles 6 and 12 in the BCCNP Consent Practice Standard).

Consent to health care means having the right to choose, refuse or revoke health care after being informed about the proposed plan of care. Consent is based on a legal requirement, as well as respect for clients’ rights to enough information to make decisions about their health care.

Consent requires that:

  1. the client is adequately informed
  2. the client is capable of consenting
  3. there is no coercion, fraud or misrepresentation
  4. a substitute decision-maker is appointed if the client is not capable of consenting

Employers are responsible for providing systems and supports that enable LPNs to meet consent requirements.​​​

 Need help or advice?

​For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us:

  • Email practice@bccnp.ca
  • 604.742.6200 (Metro Vancouver)
  • Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only)