Rights of carers
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a person who needs this help because of an illness or disability. Carers have a vital but often demanding role providing physical and emotional support to people with cancer. Knowing your rights as a carer can help you deal with the treatment team, and make medical and financial decisions.
Learn more about:
- Talking to the treatment team
- Making decisions
- Workplace issues for carers
- Financial assistance and other support for carers
As a carer, you’re part of the health care team. One of your key roles is to help the person you care for communicate with their treatment team and make decisions about their care. The person needs to give written consent to allow you to do this, and this consent should be included in their medical record. At times, you may also need to speak on behalf of the patient. It is your right to take on this advocacy role if that is what the person you care for would like.
Getting ready for medical appointments
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Caring for someone with cancer
We offer support to carers, online, over the phone and in person.