Consent forms are used in a whole range of Australian businesses, particularly in industries like medicine which handle sensitive client information. After all, privacy is taken very seriously in Australia and is strictly enforced where breaches are found. 

When it comes to medical information, the law is extra careful around how that kind of information is shared with third parties. For example, generally speaking, your business only needs a Privacy Policy if your annual turnover exceeds $3 million

However, there is an exception to this rule if your business handles health information. So, it’s quite clear that medical information in Australia is considered particularly sensitive. 

If this sounds like your business, you may want to look into a Medical Release Consent Form

A consent form is a document that lets people know that you will be using their information and disclosing it to third parties. As such, the form requests their consent for you to do so. 

For example, you may have seen this in the context of research participation. A Participant Consent Form would usually include key details about the research, its purpose and the reasons why the researcher needs to share that information with third parties. 

Then, the participant would sign the form to indicate their consent to share their personal information with others. 

A Medical Release Consent Form is required where your business is disclosing medical information to third parties, so that your client can consent to this disclosure. It should outline:

  • What information is being disclosed
  • Who it is being disclosed to 
  • Why it is being disclosed
  • Consequences for non-disclosure

For consent to be valid under Australian law, it must be:

  • Voluntary
  • Informed
  • Specific
  • Current
  • Given by someone who has the capacity to provide consent

Consent is informed where you’ve given all the relevant information for them to make a proper decision. For example, if you tell people you need their consent to disclose information but you do not disclose the kind of information you’re sharing or the relevant risks involved, this would not be considered ‘informed consent’. 

This is because the client would lack the context required to make an informed decision. 

If you are providing a Medical Release Consent Form, it’s also essential that you  take steps to ensure your client fully understands the nature of the form. This means accommodating the needs of people with disabilities or language barriers. This is required for their consent to be genuine and valid. 

It’s important that you don’t skip important steps and try to snatch the first template you see online. A Medical Release Consent Form is something that should be tailored to your business as the information will depend on the nature of your business activities and the information you are collecting and disclosing. 

At Sprintlaw, we offer a Medical Release Consent Form package. We work closely with you to ensure we meet your specific needs. Our package includes:

  • Drafting a Medical Release Consent Form in accordance with your requirements
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can advise you on the legal issues that apply to your business
  • A complimentary amendment to the final draft we provide you 

Next Steps

When it comes to consent forms (whether this be for NDIS or drug testing purposes), it’s a good idea to consult an expert lawyer who can guide you through the process. This way, you can ensure your business is compliant with the relevant privacy laws and you can avoid any legal hiccups later down the track. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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