Basically, "consent" means agreement. So when we're talking about whether you consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal health information, we are talking about whether you agree or not.
The law says that there are different types of consent in different situations. In some situations, your "express consent" is needed. This means your actual written or spoken agreement is needed before your information can be collected, used or disclosed. In other situations, your consent can be assumed because of the circumstances. This is often called "implied consent."
The law says that both "express consent" and "implied consent" are legitimate types of consent, but only if you have been told why your personal health information is being collected, used or disclosed, or if the reason (often referred to as the "purpose") is obvious in the circumstances.
In some situations, your consent is not required at all. This can happen if there is a law that requires personal health information to be collected, used or disclosed. For more information about when your consent is not needed, click here.
In this section, we talk about when consent is needed, when it isn't needed, and when you can and can't change your consent.