FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new booklet, Patients’ Rights, is now available to educate New Brunswickers about their rights as health-care patients.

The booklet uses plain language to answer some of the common questions that arise when persons visit a physician, undergo dental work, receive nursing home care or present in an emergency room due to illness or accident. Those questions include:

●    how an individual consents to treatment;
●    at what age an individual may consent to treatment;
●    what happens if an individual is incapacitated or mentally incompetent;
●    whether a patient may refuse treatment;
●    what are a patient’s rights to privacy;
●    how to access medical records; and
●    how to make a complaint about a health-care provider.  

Patients’ Rights also covers patients’ responsibilities, including:

●    asking questions;
●    knowing to what patients are consenting;
●    following agreed-upon treatment plans, and
●    returning for regular check-ups if requested.

The booklet is being distributed to libraries, hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, seniors' organizations and other groups. It is also available on the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick website.

For more information or to order copies, contact the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1, or call 506-453-5369, fax, 506-462-5193.

The Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick developed Patients’ Rights with input from the New Brunswick Medical Society, the public trustee, the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner, members of the Law Society of New Brunswick and a patient's representative.

The Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate and inform the public about the law. It receives funding and in-kind support from Justice Canada, the New Brunswick Law Foundation and the New Brunswick Office of the Attorney General.