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BILL NO. 135

(as introduced)

3rd Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
70 Elizabeth II, 2021


Private Member's Bill


Patients' Rights Act


Alana Paon
Cape Breton–Richmond

First Reading: April 19, 2021

Second Reading:

Third Reading:


An Act Respecting the Rights of Patients

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Patients' Rights Act.

2 This Act binds Her Majesty in right of the Province.

3 Every patient in the Province is entitled to

(a) a health-care system that reflects the patient's values;

(b) the development and delivery of service that reflects a commitment to the health, general well-being and dignity of all residents of the Province;

(c) access to health care and related services and supports, including primary care, acute care, long-term care and home care as well as emergency, palliative, rehabilitative and preventive services;

(d) the development and delivery of service guided by the best available qualitative, quantitative and experiential evidence;

(e) support for individual and community efforts to enhance the health and well-being of residents of the Province;

(f) eradication of intersectoral and other barriers to ensure better health and health care;

(g) equitable allocation of resources;

(h) adequate funding for, and wise management of, services that have an impact on health;

(i) continued Government commitment to the spirit of the Canada Health Act and Nova Scotia's Health Goals (1992); and

(j) providing input, as a member of the public, into major proposed changes to the health-care system.

4 The Minister of Health and Wellness, the Government and the Nova Scotia Health Authority are jointly responsible for

(a) providing services that respect values, culture, language, religion, ethnicity and individual ability;

(b) treating patients with respect, dignity and consideration;

(c) paying attention to patients' individual views, preferences, observations and problems regarding all aspects of care;

(d) providing care in a manner that is free from abuse, neglect and prejudice;

(e) providing care based primarily on individual need;

(f) providing safe, competent and ethical care by qualified providers;

(g) knowing the names, qualifications and professional roles of health-care providers; and

(h) providing health care and related services with reasonable accommodation for the geographic distribution of the population.

5 Every health-care provider is responsible for

(a) caring for patients in a clean, safe and healthy environment;

(b) providing patients with understandable information about their health care;

(c) allowing patients to participate fully in all decisions related to their health care, either directly or where circumstances dictate, through the use of an appropriate proxy or Advance Directive;

(d) participating in arrangements for discharge;

(e) honouring requests for the withdrawal of treatment or the refusal of care except where otherwise prescribed by law;

(f) honouring refusals to participate in research or educational activities;

(g) informing patients of the relevant risks, benefits and reasonably foreseeable consequences of any proposed intervention together with the risks and potential consequences of refusing care;

(h) being adequately informed of the rules, regulations, policies and limits associated with the provision of health care and related services;

(i) providing a full explanation, in advance, for any charges for services not covered by the provincial health-care plan;

(j) assuring the privacy of patients;

(k) observing confidentiality unless disclosure is authorized by law;

(l) providing an explanation of the requirements for disclosure of confidential information; and

(m) providing reasonable and timely access to and copies of personal health-care records as well as the ability to request changes to the records.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2021 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created April 19, 2021. Send comments to