The valid consent argument continues in the Commonwealth Senate, did you receive valid consent when receiving the covid vaccine or were you coerced into receiving it? Many Australians had undue pressure placed upon them to comply within their workplaces to which a medical practitioner administering a vaccine should stop... Were you given all the side effects at the point of vaccination? If not lawful consent was not actually obtained.
Valid consent is the voluntary agreement by an individual to a proposed procedure, which is given after sufficient, appropriate and reliable information about the procedure, including the potential risks and benefits, has been conveyed to that individual.
As part of the consent procedure, people receiving vaccines and/or their parents or carers should be given sufficient information (preferably written) about the risks and benefits of each vaccine. This includes:
- what adverse events are possible
- how common they are
- what they should do about them
Table. Side effects following immunisation for vaccines used in the National Immunisation Program schedule can be used to inform valid consent.
Criteria for valid consent
For consent to be legally valid, the following elements must be present:
- It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of receiving a vaccine.
- It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.
- It must cover the specific procedure that is to be performed.
- It can only be given after the potential risks and benefits of the relevant vaccine, the risks of not having it, and any alternative options have been explained to the person.
The person must have the opportunity to seek more details or explanations about the vaccine or its administration.
The information must be provided in a language or by other means that the person can understand. Where appropriate, involve an interpreter or cultural support person.
Obtain consent before each vaccination, after establishing that there are no medical condition(s) that contraindicate vaccination. Consent can be verbal or written.
Consent on behalf of a child or an adolescent
In general, a parent or legal guardian of a child has the authority to consent to that child being vaccinated.
Some Australian states and territories have legislation that addresses the issue of a child’s consent to medical treatment. Check with your state or territory health authority- external site about these laws.
The common law applies in the states and territories that do not have specific legislation relating to children’s consent to medical treatment. This common-law position is often referred to as Mature Minor or Gillick competence.
For certain procedures, including vaccination, a child or adolescent may be determined to be mature enough to understand the proposed procedure, and the risks and benefits associated with it. These young people may have the capacity to consent under certain circumstances.
If a child or adolescent refuses a vaccination that a parent or guardian has given consent for, respect the child’s or adolescent’s wishes, and inform the parent or guardian.
Consent on behalf of an adult lacking capacity
Carefully assess an adult’s capacity to give valid consent to vaccination. If the adult lacks capacity, refer to relevant state and territory laws for obtaining consent from a substitute decision-maker. For example, this may occur for influenza vaccination of an elderly person with dementia.