Informed consent is a process in which a patient gives voluntary consent / agrees to do something (for instance, to take part in a trial).
It is very important that patients get all the relevant information they need in order to decide whether to agree to participate. For trials, this usually includes a Patient Information Sheet (see below).
In cases where a patient is unable to give consent themselves, a relative or carer may be able to give this for them.
The British Medical Journal describes this as ‘a combination of activities or strategies designed to assess, improve, maintain, promote, or modify health among individuals or an entire population’