Patients have a right to know the specifics behind their health condition and the potential medical solutions available to them. Informed consent ensures that the process always moves forward with the full knowledge and voluntary approval of the patient.
Informed consent also allows the patient to make educated decisions as to the various factors within a particular procedure or treatment. For example, during the process of informed consent, a patient may choose to manage pain associated with a procedure or treatment without prescription medication, even if prescription medication is recommended by the healthcare professional.
A patient may use the process of informed consent to proactively refuse treatment entirely. In this case, a healthcare professional may request the patient sign written documentation of their informed consent, stating they were made aware of the risks of refusing all treatment but decided to do so anyway.