Advertisement

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

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

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. 

Continue Learning about First Aid Risks

When can I give emergency care to a child or an infant without permission?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
If a condition is life threatening, permission or consent is implied if a parent or guardian is ...
More Answers
What states have Good Samaritan laws?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Most states and the District of Columbia have Good Samaritan laws that protect people against ne...
More Answers
How can I protect myself when helping someone during a medical emergency?
 Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD
During a medical emergency, always take protective measures to avoid coming in contact with anot...
More Answers
What Is Asthma and How Is It Treated in the ER?
What Is Asthma and How Is It Treated in the ER?

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.