Informed Consent – Why Legal Translation Matters

Your Right to Know (Informed Consent – Why Legal Translation Matters). What is informed consent? It is something that is viewed as a human right in many parts of the world, pertaining to situations where a patient is going through some type of medical procedure.

Informed Consent: Why Legal Translation Matters

For instance, if someone is heading into surgery, they are required to sign a medical consent form. But what happens when the person who is signing the forms does not have a clear understanding of the country’s language?

Translating Informed Consent

There are specific aspects to an informed consent form that are required by law, and each of these must be appropriately translated so the patient is aware of what they are writing down and agreeing to. These sections include a description of the clinical procedure or investigation, any risks the patient is facing, benefits, alternate treatment options, medical confidentiality, possible compensation if injury or illness occurs, and personal contacts in the event of an emergency.

An informed consent form may have other sections too, where the patient is informed about any other aspects of the trial or surgical procedure that are deemed important.

Legal Document Translation

When dealing with such legal translation forms, it is very important that a translator has the proper background. For instance, a translator who only has knowledge of both languages, but has no understanding of medical terms for the purpose of an informed consent form is not going to do their job in the appropriate way. Yes, they will get the bulk of the translation correct, but they are bound to make some mistakes.

They will have a few direct translations placed in the document, which will have a completely different meaning to the legal terminology that is used in the original document. It is vital that such mistakes do not occur, which is why the translator must have the right background.

Consequences of a Mistranslation

When dealing with informed consent translation, it is beyond crucial for the document to have no errors. With any legal translation, errors are not only a matter of reputation and pride, but of serious legal consequences. If a hospital fails to provide a patient with the right informed consent form, they could find themselves on the other end of a lawsuit.

Legal Translation Matters: How Can Our Company Help?

If there are patients within your hospital who do not understand English, it is crucial they are provided with informed consent documents in a language they can understand. And the only way for your hospital to ensure it is on the right side of the law is by having a professional and accurate legal translation completed.

Our Swiss translation agency can help you with such a process. Our translators have ample experience with informed consent, having completed such translations for hospitals and clinics for more than a decade.

Do you have an upcoming project already planned? Request a non-binding quote today!

Further details can be discussed with us directly by telephone.
We look forward to receiving your call on + 41 56 470 40 40 or you can send us an email at