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What are my rights if I can make healthcare choices?

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Video: What is consent, are what are my rights about consent?

In healthcare, consent means saying yes to a treatment or medical test. If a doctor, court or tribunal decides that you can make healthcare choices and give consent, this gives you lots of important rights. This is true no matter what your disability is.

These rights include:

  • The right to say yes or no to medical treatments or tests. This includes the right to change your mind. People have to respect your decision even if they don’t agree with it.
  • The right to choose who will and won’t treat you when possible.
  • The right to say yes (consent) to only some things a healthcare person suggests, and not others.
  • The right to have information you share with healthcare people kept as private as possible.
  • The right to receive medical information in a way which is accessible and understandable. This can include using an interpreter, plain English, pictures or Braille. Any forms you sign should be presented and explained in an accessible way.
  • The right to make a complaint if a healthcare person does something to you or your medical information when you didn’t say they could.

Even if you are normally allowed to make healthcare choices yourself, there are some special situations where people can make choices for you. Except for these times, you can make a complaint if a healthcare person does something without you saying yes. An advocate can help you do this. You can complain to the Office of the Health Services Commissioner.

Getting help with this

Level 2, 180 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000
Phone:9267 3733
Fax: 9639 1622
Email: ydasadvocate@yacvic.org.au
Website: http://www.ydas.org.au/

Level 1 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053
Phone:1300 309 337
Fax: 1300 787 510
TTY: 1300 305 612
Website: http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/

Level 30 570 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria 3000
Phone:(03) 8601 5200
Fax: (03) 8601 5219
Email: hsc@health.vic.gov.au
Website: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc/