Principles of Consent and Advance Directives Guidebook
A guidebook on patient consent for treatment and other health care decisions, including the End of Life Option Act


This guidebook guides you through the basic principles of patient consent for health care treatment. In clear, simple terms this publication explains why and when consent is necessary, who may give consent, how consent for minors is different, and procedures that require special consent. It also describes the hospital’s obligations when dealing with complicated issues like advance health care directives, California’s POLST form, refusal of treatment, and end-of-life decisions, including California’s End of Life Option Act. The 2017 edition was updated to reflect all changes in state and federal consent law through January 2017.

The over 300-page guidebook contains the first six chapters from CHA’s popular Consent Manual. It is intended for both experienced professionals and for those new to health care or the hospital setting. Principles of Consent and Advance Directives Guidebook can be used as a handy reference guide and for compliance training for physicians, nurses, health care attorneys, risk managers, social workers and a variety of other staff.



Principles of Consent and Advance Directives Guidebook is 300+ pages and features six chapters, several quick reference guides and more than 30 sample forms and appendixes (many in Spanish). For your convenience, all legal citations and an index have been included. 

Patients’ Rights and Interpreter Services

  • The Patient Self-Determination Act
  • Patients’ rights under state and federal law
  • Auxiliary aids for hearing, vision or speech impairment
  • Service Animals
  • Interpreter Services
  • Patient Complaints

The Basic Principles of Consent

  • Why and when consent is necessary
  • How consent should be obtained
  • Informed consent, including the role of the hospital and the role of the physician

Who May Consent for Adults Lacking Capacity

  • Adults with capacity to make health care decisions
  • Advance Directives: The Health Care Decisions Law
  • Adults under conservatorship
  • Adults lacking capacity and not under conservatorship

Who May Consent for Minor Patients

  • Minors lacking legal authority to consent
    • Parental consent, guardian consent and third-party consent
    • Special situations involving minors lacking legal authority
    • Disagreement regarding treatment
  • Minors with legal authority to consent

Treatments That Require Special Consent

  • Blood transfusions, vaccines, sterilization, medications and more
  • Mandatory patient information and consultations
  • Telemedicine/telehealth

Refusal of Treatment & End-of-Life Issues

  • The right to refuse treatment
  • When patient leaves against medical advice
  • Withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment
  • Prehospital Do Not Resuscitate forms and California’s POLST form
  • End of Life Option Act