Occupational therapists must receive informed-consent when working with patients or clients, which is written into legislation laws in Canada. But what is informed consent? Simply put, clients have the right to decide which treatments they prefer, and an occupational therapist must support their decision-making process. Even after consent is given, clients always have the right to change their decision at any time.
Occupational therapists must obtain and document informed consent for all components of service, including assessment and intervention. Consent is an ongoing process and is often obtained when a client verbally agrees to and gives permission to proceed with a clearly stated course of action. It is an occupational therapist's responsibility to confirm that clients comprehend what their agreeing. Occupational therapists must ensure that they are providing clients with sufficient information and education so that clients fully understand the risks, benefits and possible alternatives to treatment. Ultimately, the decision to proceed with treatment lies in the client's hands. Occupational therapists must provide clients with as much support as possible to make informed decisions regarding their care.