PROCEDURES REQUIRING EXPRESS CONSENT FROM MILITARY FAMILY
By regulation, written consent is required from military family members for:
invasive surgery, anesthesia, treatment involving radioactive material, electroshock
therapy (which is no longer widely used), and procedures involving more than a slight
risk of harm. Routine procedures with only a slight risk of harm do not require the
patient's express consent. The term "slight" is not defined in the regulation. Therefore,
common sense and local policy will have to guide the health care provider in
determining which procedures require express consent.
EXPRESS CONSENT FROM MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS IS REQUIRED FOR:
Treatment involving radioactive material.
Procedures with more than a slight risk of harm.
Figure 1-4 Procedures requiring the express consent of military family members.
CONSENT NOT REQUIRED TO TREAT SERVICE MEMBERS
A service member's right to give consent for treatment required to restore him or
her to duty is more restricted. And, in fact, there are many circumstances in which
consent is not required to treat a service member. (See figure below.) If a service
member refuses to submit to medical care, a medical board will determine: 1) if the
recommended care is necessary to restore the service member to duty; 2) if the
recommended care is an established, ordinary medical procedure; 3) if refusal is
unreasonable; and 4) if the likely outcome of treatment is good. If the service member
still refuses treatment after the board, the results are forwarded to Headquarters
Department of the Army (HQDA) for review. If The Surgeon General approves the
board, and the service member still refuses treatment, then an order to comply can be
given. If the service member disobeys the order to comply, he or she shall be subject to
administrative or punitive action.