Attending the Informed Consent Conference

Typically, the following people attend the Informed Consent Conference:
  • Your child's doctor
  • Other medical team members, such as a nurse, may be present. It has been shown that families who understand the information best are those whose consent conferences included a nurse.
  • If you are at a teaching hospital, doctors who are receiving advanced training (such as a fellow or resident) may come to the conference.
  • You can bring a family member or friend with you to the conference who can help take notes and listen with you. Some families bring along a trusted spiritual advisor (such as a minister or rabbi) or family counselor for support. These are choices you can make.
  • Most hospitals have social workers or counselors who are specially trained in helping families cope with cancer diagnosis. You can request that they join this meeting or meet with you afterwards.

You can decide who you would like in the conference and whether your child should be there. You need to be able to concentrate on the information the doctor is giving you. If you have a young child, it may be best to arrange to have the meeting without your child. A family member or friend may help by staying with your child while you're in the conference. Older children may want to be included in the conference, depending on how they are feeling, or they can be present for only part of the meeting so you feel you can easily ask the doctors everything you want to when the child is not present. There is no one best answer for every family. You know yourself and your child best and may want to talk about this decision with a social worker, nurse, psychologist or supportive other person who knows you and your family.

Informed Consent
Managing the Conference
Making Treatment Decisions
Clinical Trials
Second Opinions