What Is a Consent Agreement?
Consent agreements can come in many various forms like letters of consent and drug test forms to waivers and even Lease Agreements, but they all have one thing in common: they are written documents and formal manners in requesting or providing informed consent.
How to Write a Consent Agreement
When it comes to consent agreements, there can be many types of them (some of which may not even seem like a consent agreement in the first place); a non-disclosure agreement, for example, may not seem like a consent agreement at first glance, but when you really take time to study it, the document itself is requesting confidentiality in exchange to consented information-sharing between two parties. As you can see, there are many forms of written agreements in business and consent agreements are no exception, so it can be a bit challenging to write one—unless you follow these general tips:
1. Determine Your Purpose
Though there are many common ways to give consent and various available layouts for consent agreement writing, there are usually just two types of it in terms of purpose: a sample agreement giving informed consent and an agreement requesting informed consent. This is important as it sets the flow of the entire document, and, though this may seem like a simple step, do not overlook its importance. Prenuptial and trademark agreements are consent agreements that can be used either way, but generally, things like drug testing consent forms and lease agreement disclaimers are consent-requesting layouts while consent letters and waiver forms are the opposite. A quick way to find out what you have or are planning to write is if the document has sentences like "I, ________, give my consent…," then it's most likely a consent-providing layout.
2. Draft Like You Would Any Legal Document
Don't expect a crumpled up letter with the phrase " I give you my consent, xoxo (insert name here)" written on it to be considered a legal document . Have a layout for your letter, lease agreement, or form and write in a professional yet simple manner. Generic details may include the names of both parties, dates, addresses, you know…the usual stuff.
3. Fully Inform Them
This is the same but also different from a disclaimer found on some contracts. The goal is to achieve informed consent from the client or patient if you are requesting it and to provide the full extent of your consent (limits and all) if you need to provide it in letter form. Here's a tip: go back to the purpose of your document and work from there; a trademark consent agreement is simply two trademarks that agree to the uniqueness of their brand ,so your text must contain related content to your trademarks. A waiver form for a drug test, on the other hand, might just need to state the procedures of the test to notify the client of what they are about to go through (a bit like a disclaimer).
4. Add Details to Your Signatures
Signatures are important in any simple agreement but are necessary for consent agreements to be valid. They are the sign that your client or patient acknowledges the risks and benefits involved, and have given their informed consent despite this. Additional details before the signatures such as "Signing this form/letter/contract indicates that you understand the risks and benefits involved and give your full consent" are also very helpful.
5. Go Over It a Couple of Times
Like any other important document, proofread and edit out mistakes and redo faulty sentences.