Whose Role Is It Anyway?

Sometimes, despite good intentions, conversations can go sideways.

This happens in health care too – but in Ontario we can avoid these kinds of awkward conversations because we have the Health Care Consent Act.

The physician proposes the treatment plan and then asks for consent. The patient provides consent – or doesn’t. And if the patient can’t make the decision, someone else – called the substitute decision maker – gets involved.

Everyone has a role to play, and knowing your role will help everyone to receive the best care possible.

Are We All On The Same Page?

If you and your physician (or you and your patient) use the same word to refer to something, does that mean you agree on what you’re talking about? This video shows that we might not be talking about the same thing even if we are all using the word “CPR” (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

What is Your Role?

When you get sick lots of people – doctors, nurses, family, and friends – will be wanting you to get better. To get better you will need to interact with the health care system, and sometimes it’s not clear who is supposed to do what, and why. A lot can go wrong if we don’t get this right. You might get treatment you don’t want and can’t benefit from (yes it does happen), or you might not get what you do want and can benefit from (yes, this happens too). If we don’t get this right there are consequences for you, and for the system. So how do we get it right? In Ontario the Health Consent Care Act tells us. This is what you need to know.

The PoET Project Story

PoET (Prevention of Error-Based Transfers) is an ethics quality improvement project that seeks to reduce consent-related errors in long-term care, and the transfers to hospital that can result from them. PoET is based in Ontario, Canada.