A Dozen Rights Every Patient Should Expect

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What rights and privileges can you expect from a hospital when you become a patient? According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), there are specific standards of care that all patients are entitled to. The AHA has developed a voluntary code–the Patient’s Bill of Rights–that presents guidelines for both staff and patients.

1.  You have the right to considerate and respectful care.

2.  You have the right to obtain from your physician complete, current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms you can reasonably be expected to understand.

3.  You have the right to receive from your physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.

4.  You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of your action.

5.  You have the right to privacy concerning your own medical care program.

6.  You have the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care should be treated as confidential.

7.  You have the right to expect that, within its capacity, a hospital must make a reasonable response to your request for services.

8.  You have the right to obtain information about any relationship of your hospital to other health care and educational institutions insofar as your care is concerned.

9.  You have the right to be advised if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment.

10. You have the right to expect reasonable continuity of care.

11. You have the right to examine and receive an explanation of your bill regardless of the source of payment.

12. You have the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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