All healthcare providers in Ontario, including dietitians, are required by law to obtain informed consent from their patients or clients before they can perform any non-emergency treatment. What does this mean for you? What are your rights as a health consumer when you visit a dietitian?
If you are consulting a dietitian for help with any nutrition-related concern, you have a right to understand any treatment they propose. The consent process is meant to help you make an informed decision about your health. It is your right to know what will be done to you, as well as the risks and benefits of a treatment and available alternatives. You also have a right to refuse a treatment.
It is the responsibility of the dietitian to make sure that you have given your informed consent before the treatment is started. Once you have given your consent, you can also change your mind and say no.
Giving consent is not only about filling out a form. What’s important is that you have a frank and open conversation with your dietitian. Here are some to the questions you can ask during the consent conversation:
- Why is this treatment being proposed?
- What exactly is the nature of the treatment or assessment?
- Who will be following up with me?
- How will the treatment help me?
- Are there any risks and side effects I need to consider?
- Are there any other options? How would they help and what are their risks and side effects?
- If I decide not to do this, what could happen to me? Are there consequences?
You should feel that you can ask your dietitian, or any other healthcare provider, all your questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your own health.
Find more information at www.mydietitian.ca.