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Rights and Responsibilities

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  • The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights is for everyone, and it outlines how you should be treated during your episode of care.

    Your patient rights can be accessed here or ask our hospital staff for a brochure. More information can be accessed here, including translated versions.

  • Ryan's Rule assists you to get help when you are concerned that a patient is getting worse, or not improving.

    More information on Ryan's Rule can be accessed here.

  • Information about patient access to health records and application kits can be found on our patient access to health records page.

  • Darling Downs Health wants to provide a safe environment for our patients, staff and visitors. Violence or aggression towards our staff is not acceptable. If you become violent or aggressive, you may receive verbal and/or written warnings, be discharged from care or asked to leave the facility.

    In addition, the Queensland government has introduced tough new penalties to further protect those on the frontline. During the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, any person who intentionally coughs, sneezes or spits at an essential worker, or threatens to do, can be fined up to $13,345 and may also face criminal charges.

    For more information, view our Unacceptable behaviour framework fact sheet or the below short video (video transcript available here).

  • Before a doctor, nurse or any healthcare practitioner can examine or treat you, they usually need your consent or permission.

    Informed consent is when you understand your illness or health issue and agree to what is recommended by your treating team. Remember, you have the choice to have treatment or not.

    What information do I need?

    To help you decide your treating team will give you some important information. You can also ask questions:

    • Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
    • What are the risks?
    • Are there simpler, safer options?
    • What happens if I don't do anything?

    You can read more about questions to ask on the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

    Why do I have to give consent?

    It is the law in Australia that your health worker has your consent before giving you a health test or treating you.

    Why do I need to sign a consent form?

    You will be asked to sign a written consent form for high-risk treatments like surgery. Other times you might only need to tell your health worker that you agree to the treatment.

    Your consent form is only going to be read by those involved in your health care and won't be shared with anyone else.

    Who can give consent?

    In most circumstances, anyone over the age of 18 is able to consent. Your treating team will talk to you about your individual circumstances.

    Who gives consent for a child?

    Usually, a parent, guardian or carer can give consent for a child that is under 18 years of age.

    Only in cases where a child can fully understand their treatment and the effect it can have on their health, can they give their own consent.

    Your treating team will check if a child can give their consent.

    How much do I need to know?

    We will give you as much information as you want and try to answer your questions. You can also tell us if there is anything you don't want to know about your tests or treatment.

    How much time do I have to decide?

    Decisions are often made quickly in emergencies. If it isn’t an emergency, you can take more time to decide.

    If you're still unsure, you can talk to us to help you to make your decision.

    Do I need an interpreter?

    If English isn't your first language, a professional interpreter can attend your appointment. Both face-to-face and telephone interpreters are free. Remember, everything you tell your interpreter is private.

    What if I gave consent and then I change my mind?

    You can always change your mind, even if you signed a consent form or told your treating team that you agree to have tests or treatment.

Last updated: 14 April 2020