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Every Resident - Bill of Rights for people who live in Ontario long-term care homes

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11b. Consent to treatment

"Every resident has the right to give or refuse consent to any treatment, care or services for which his or her consent is required by law and to be informed of the consequences of giving or refusing consent."

In other words...

If your doctor suggests a way to help you, you can decide to:

  • do what the doctor recommends,
  • not take the doctor's advice, or
  • talk to another doctor or qualified person to get a second opinion.

You must be told what the treatment is for, its risks, benefits, and side effects, and what will happen if you decide not to take it. You must also be told if there are alternatives to the recommended treatment. You need to know these things in order to make an informed decision.

No one else can make decisions about your treatment if you are mentally capable. You can have someone help you make decisions, but that too is your choice. You cannot be punished or discharged from the home for refusing to consent to a treatment, including medication.

You are mentally capable if you can understand and appreciate what you are doing, what you are being told about your care, and the consequences of your decisions.

If you are not mentally capable of making certain decisions, your substitute decision-maker must make them for you. A substitute decision-maker is a person who has the legal right to make decisions for you during times when you are not mentally capable of making them yourself.