Poll Reveals More Education about Patient Rights Needed

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October 14, 2016 – CARP recently launched its Patient Experience Poll and 5,444 CARP members across Canada responded.

From September 23rd to October 11th, 2016, members shared their views, experiences and knowledge as patients via online survey.

Key Findings

One of our most fundamental rights as a healthcare patient is to refuse unwanted tests and treatments, yet one quarter (25%) of CARP members surveyed didn’t realize they could refuse to have their blood pressure taken or to provide samples for blood tests, or decline treatments including antibiotics, day surgery, chemotherapy or other medications or medical procedures. One-in-five CARP members (20%) surveyed also say they have felt pressure to accept a medical treatment or procedure.

With respect to pain control, 51% of our members surveyed thought they always had the right to demand more pain control medication, while 40% believed they must suffer if pain control dosages might result in death. Seven per cent were unsure of their rights (7%). In fact, patients do not have the right to demand pain control (or any other treatment) although best practice is for doctors to ensure patients do not suffer.

“These results are not unexpected, but they are a cause for concern,” said Wanda Morris, VP of Advocacy for CARP. “There are too many people who don’t know their rights. This puts them at risk of unwanted treatment, untreated pain or other unfortunate situations.”

To learn more, check out CARP’s Know Your Rights as a Healthcare Patient Guide, a NEW downloadable resource.

Read more in our Key Findings Summary.  Poll results will be released Friday October 21st/2016