Knowing and understanding patient rights are an integral part of patient care. These rights are based on fundamental principles regarding the care that patients should receive from all health professionals and from all hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations.
These rights are slightly different in different countries and jurisdictions, but in the U.S., they were set down and adopted by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1998 as the Patient’s Bill of Rights. These rights are also incorporated into the AMA’s Code of Ethics. A summary of these rights can be found online at the following websites:
There is also a section devoted to patients’ rights within the World Health Organization’s website at http://www.who.int/genomics/public/patientrights/en/index.html
If you are already a patient-centered physician or other healthcare professional, chances are you already know all of these rights and practice accordingly. However, it never hurts to review them once in a while to be sure you’re still on the right track.
This page was last updated on September 13, 2009.