Assent versus Consent

What is the Difference Between Assent and Consent?


When to Use Consent

Consent is a noun and a verb.

As a noun, consent means permission for something to happen. Often, a patient must give consent before medical treatment can begin.

For example,

A parent or guardian must give consent for children under the age of 18.
  • Medical professionals should ensure that patients understand the treatment for which they grant consent.
  • Vizio Inc., a popular smart TV brand, settled a lawsuit Monday that accused it of using its TVs to track what its owners watched, then selling that information to marketing firms, all without customers’ knowledge or consent.

    As a verb, consent means to grant permission for something to happen.

    For example,

  • Each client must consent to treatment before an intervention can begin.
  • “I do not consent to this exile!” cried the priest as he was dragged from the throne room.

    When to Use Assent

    Assent is also a noun or a verb.

    As a verb, it means to agree with an opinion.

    For example,

  • I assent to the terms of this contract, and will follow them to the best of my abilities.
  • Karen assented that Jerry’s idea was probably the best way to move forward.
  • As a noun, assent means agreement with an opinion.

    For example,

  • Jack signaled his assent with a slow nod of his grizzled head.
  • We have not given our assent to the plan, and should it be adopted, we would not follow it.


    Summary

    Is it assent or consent? These terms might deal with similar circumstances, but there is a distinction in meaning.

    Assent means agreement with an opinion.

    Consent means permission for something to happen.

    Assent usually signals stronger agreement than consent.


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