A 69 year old Greek man, Mr. Baltas, who speaks little English, was admitted to a major hospital in Melbourne for assessment and tests for a cancer-related illness. He had been diagnosed and treated for this illness four years ago and, at that time, his prognosis was thought to be good and his disease under control.
Unfortunately, Mr. Baltas' condition changed unexpectedly and his test results showed that his cancer had spread and there was no further treatment available and that palliative care would now be offered to him. Mr Baltas was in no pain and was eager to return home. Mr. Baltas' doctor decided that before Mr Baltas was discharged he had a right to be told the change in his prognosis and of what lay ahead.
Mr. Baltas' Australian born daughter, however, took a different view and insisted that her father was not to be told his prognosis since, this would 'destroy his hope' and affect his quality of life. When the doctor disagreed, the daughter explained that, in their (Greek) culture, it was wrong to tell someone they had terminal cancer.
The doctor again disagreed with the daughter and argued that the issue was not about culture, but about ethics. The doctor said the father had a right to know.
Q. Explain in detail Mr Baltas' rights according to the Australian Charter of Health Care Rights (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare 2008). Are his health care rights being met? If so, how? If not, how could they be met?