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When might someone be unable to give expressed consent for emergency care?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
Expressed consent may be impossible to get in certain situations. A person may be injured, unconscious, unable to understand, or have altered mental status. Proceed with caution, if you decide to give care. They may pose a risk to your health. You are only giving care because they cannot make the decision in their condition. Expect them to do the unexpected and keep yourself safe. 

Someone who is unconscious, unable to respond, confused, mentally impaired, seriously injured or seriously ill may not be able to give expressed consent.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.