Code of Ethics of the Users' of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Our patients are our raison d’être and the respect and recognition of their rights and freedoms shall guide our services to them.

The MUHC has adopted the present code of ethics in order to set out your rights as well as the practices and conduct expected of our employees, professionals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and students in your regard. This document is an affirmation of the fundamental values of our institution.

In each intervention, our patients shall be treated with courtesy and understanding, in the respect of their dignity, their autonomy, their safety and their needs including their cultural and linguistic needs, the whole in accordance with the laws, regulations and code of ethics of professionals in force.

As a patient of the MUHC, you may expect that the following rights will be respected:

  1. the right of being informed of the existence of health and social services and resources available in your community and of the conditions governing access to such services and resources;
  2. the right to receive, with continuity and in a personalized and safe manner, health services and social services which are scientifically, humanly and socially appropriate;
  3. the right to choose the professional or the institution from which you wish to receive health services or social services, subject however, to the freedom of such professional to agree to treat you and also subject to the laws and regulations relating to the organization and functioning of our institution as well as human, material and financial resources available to it;
  4. the right to receive the care required by your condition when your life or integrity is endangered. At your request, we shall ensure that such care is provided;
  5. the right of giving your consent before undergoing care of any nature, whether for examination, specimen taking, treatment or any other intervention. Consent to care or the authorization to provide care is given or refused by you or, if applicable, your representative or the court in the circumstances and in the manner provided in the Civil Code;
  6. the right to participate in any decision affecting your health or welfare. You have the right, in particular, to participate in the development of your intervention plan or your individualized service plan, where such plans are required. You have the same rights with regard to any changes to such plans;
  7. the right to be informed about your state of health and welfare, the various options available to you as well as the risks and consequences generally associated with each of these options before giving consent to your care;
  8. the right to be informed as soon as possible of any accident having occurred during the provision of services that has actual or potential consequences for your state of health or welfare and of the measures taken to correct the consequences suffered, if any, or to prevent such an accident from recurring;
  9. the right to be accompanied and assisted by a person of your choice when you wish to obtain information or take steps in relation to any service provided by our institution or on our behalf or by any professional who practices his profession in our institution;
  10. the right of access to your record, if you are 14 years or older. Access to your record shall be given to you as soon as possible after your request. When we provide medical information about you contained in your record, we shall, at your request, provide you with the assistance of a qualified professional to help you understand such information. However, we may deny access to your record temporarily if, in the opinion of your doctor, the disclosure of the record or part thereof would likely cause serious harm to your health. In such a case, we shall determine, on the recommendation of the doctor, when the record or the part thereof to which access has been denied may be communicated to you and will advise you accordingly. In addition, you are not entitled to be informed of the existence or receive communication of information concerning you furnished by a third party where knowledge of the existence or the communication thereof would make it possible for you to identify that third party unless such third party has agreed in writing to the disclosure of the information and of its source to you. The foregoing does not apply however when the information was provided by a healthcare professional or by an employee of the institution in the discharge of its duties; and
  11. Your record is confidential and no one may have access to it except with your consent or that of the person who can give consent on your behalf. Exceptionally, information contained in your file may be communicated without your consent within the terms and conditions prescribed by specific legislative provisions. In particular, certain provisions enable us to use your name, surname and address to invite you to make a donation to benefit the MUHC or a MUHC foundation, unless you object. We may also use your name, surname, address and telephone number in your record to conduct surveys designed to ascertain the expectations of patients and their satisfaction with the quality of services offered by our institution. We must give you a valid opportunity to refuse that this information be used for such purposes. You may at any time request that we no longer use the information for such purposes.

At your request, we shall send a copy or summary of, or an extract from, your record as soon as possible to another institution or to a professional. 

We have an obligation to give you a copy of the present code if you are an in-patient or if you make a request.