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11 Rights You Have as a Patient

11 Rights You Have as a Patient

If you’ve been feeling off, a great first step is to go to the doctor. Unfortunately, many people avoid going to the doctor. Some people feel like the doctor doesn’t listen, the treatments haven’t helped or their symptoms aren’t taken seriously. Having a collaborative relationship with your doctor, where you’re both working together, is key. Part of having a collaborative relationship is understanding your rights as a patient so that you can stand up for yourself if you need to! 

As a patient you have the right to:

  • Have the final say on any medical decisions, if you don’t want to do something you don’t have to
  • Ask your doctor questions and bring up any concerns you have 
  • See your medical records, you can request a copy of the records as well
  • To know who is involved in your medical care, including students or trainees
  • To seek out a second opinion if your doctors advice doesn’t seem right to you
  • To be treated in a professional and non-judgemental way 
  • To question anything your doctor does or says that seems unprofessional and/or makes you uncomfortable 
  • To ask questions about the reasons for any test or procedure 
  • To ask for another person to be in the room when you’re having a test, procedure, or a general appointment 
  • To ask your doctor to stop if anything is making you uncomfortable
  • To talk to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (this is basically the doctors boss) if your doctor did something that made you feel uncomfortable

To learn more about your rights, visit the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons' You and Your Doctor page. To learn more, please check out mindyourmind's Talk to a Doctor guide