Patient Rights Poll Results

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Poll Reveals More Education about Patient Rights Needed

November 4, 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 (20%) of CARP members surveyed say:

  • They have felt pressure to accept a medical treatment or procedure,
  • That they or their loved one consented to a recommended medical treatment or procedure, then wish they hadn’t, and
  • That either they or their loved one received a treatment or procedure that caused their quality of life to get worse.

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.”

Read more in our Key Findings Summary