CIUSSS West-Central Montreal is ready to cooperate with the news media to provide information of public interest. However, we must balance the media’s interest with the network and its staff’s obligation to protect patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality, including the right not to be interviewed or photographed without their consent.
All news media inquiries and calls for expert opinions should be directed to the Media Relations team.
Respect & Confidentiality
Article 19 of the Quebec Act Respecting Health and Social Services states the following: "The record of a user is confidential and no person may have access to it except with the authorization of the user or the person designated to give authorization on his behalf, or on the order of a court."
Interviews & Photographs
When interviews and photography are requested in any sites of the CIUSSS, the Communications and Media Relations staff is responsible for authorizing and coordinating the request.
When on site, all members of the media are asked to wear their identification credentials. In the case where they do not have any form of identification, they will be provided with a media badge from the Security Department.
Members of the media shall be escorted by Communications and Media Relations staff or their delegate at all times. This policy is in effect regardless of whether this request for an interview or photograph was initiated by a patient, relative, physician, volunteer, staff member or by the media organization itself.
Any member of a media organization carrying a camera (photo or video) on site without clearance from Communications and Media Relations shall be referred immediately to the Security Department.
Informed User Consent
Information about a patient may only be released with the written consent of the patient or, if he/she is incapacitated, their next-of-kin.
Consent is obtained by explaining to the user, and/or the patient’s next-of-kin, who wants the information and how it will be used. The person giving consent must be informed of his/her right to refuse such consent.
The CIUSSS West-Central Montreal official consent form must be completed prior to the release of medical information or an interview and/or photo session.The signed form is kept on file in the Department of Communications and Media Relations.
Provided the user (or if they are incapacitated, their next-of-kin) has consented, limited information is available to the media. The CIUSSS West-Central Montreal will only confirm an individual’s name if the user has consented, or if the police have previously released the user’s full name and have announced that the person is a user in an CIUSSS West-Central Montreal establishment.
The same policy applies when the media inquire about a Jewish General Hospital patient by name, the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal will only provide confirmation (with the patient’s consent, or that of their next-of-kin) that the patient has been admitted or treated and discharged; and/or the current condition of the patient. The terms outlined below will be used to describe their condition.
- Good – Vital signs are stable* and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Making favorable progress.
- Fair – Vital signs are stable* and within or close to normal limits. Patient is conscious. Patient may have minor complications.
- Serious – Acutely ill. Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. There are major complications.
- Critical – Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. There are major complications and indications are unfavorable.
* Stable – the term stable is only a description of a patient’s vital signs which include temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. Without the written, informed consent of the patient and/or family, the hospital will NOT provide information about:
- Nature of illness or injury
- Specific severity of the injuries or prognosis.
- Possible cause of injury or the environment in which the accident occurred.
- Patient’s release date
- Name(s) of attending physician(s), without consent of physician(s) and that of the patient (or if the patient is incapacitated, their next-of-kin).