Patients’ rights and responsibilities are a crucial part of the healthcare law. It is highly imperative to ensure that each patient can rightfully voice their concerns and queries at any given time. Everyone should understand that each person has a right to receive required medical treatment without any biases and within the limitations of the workforce and resources.
Patient rights assure that the healthcare system is fair. They are vital to make every patient confident in the healthcare system and stress the role of patients remaining healthy by using their rights. It is also essential to build a solid patient-caretaker relationship.
Let’s now discuss a few rights that patients enjoy under the healthcare law:
- As mentioned above, every patient has a right to respectful and safe medical care.
- Every patient must have freedom from abuse that includes any biases or discriminatory acts based on a patient’s gender, ethnicity, nationality, or other factors.
- Patients have the absolute right to know the name of all the doctors and nurses who contact them.
- A patient can also request amendments and alterations in hospitals’ disclosure and non-disclosure policy and the regulatory healthcare bodies.
- Similarly, a patient can also request changes in policies to receive relevant information about their health following the law. It helps them make the appropriate decisions based on their medical condition. It also means that patients receive complete information on their diagnosis, prognosis, and possible treatment options.
- Patients have the right to know the root causes of their disease. For instance, if someone develops a rare disease such as mesothelioma, they possess the right to know how they contracted it. They can also put in a request in the research department. Such acts are familiar to patients diagnosed with dangerous cancers like mesothelioma.
- Patients have exclusive rights to privacy. They also have the right to ask for limitations on the number of visits from outsiders and even family members.
- A patient has the right to appoint visitors who must receive the same information about their health and possible treatments. Most hospitals usually make patients sign a consent form before revealing any crucial information to others.
- Patients have the right to retrieve personal medical records. Sometimes hospitals are hesitant to give patients documents, mostly because doctors fear they might not make rational choices.
- Every patient has a right to ask for a second opinion from a different doctor. It is vital because a second opinion helps patients make more informed choices about their treatment and more confident about their options.
- Patients can also request transfers to different facilities at any time. Such cases often happen when patients are not receiving satisfying service from the current healthcare facility. Other reasons might include the unavailability of specialists or amenities.
- Patients also have complete freedom to provide suggestions and grievances to their caretakers. Doctors and nurses must pay attention to patients’ requests since it will help build trust and formulate a solid doctor-patient relationship.
- Suppose a patient is participating in a research study or program. In that case, they have a right to receive complete information about every detail. They can also refuse to participate at any time, and their refusal must not affect their need for medical care.
- Patients also have the right to request as many medical tests as they want at their expense (either covered by insurance or privately). They can also repeat the same tests multiple times if they wish.
- Likewise, patients can also refuse any drugs, medication, procedures, or treatments. However, the patient’s refusal of treatment is only possible if approved by the law, given their medical consequences.
- Patients also have the right to request breastfeeding equipment while still admitted to hospitals or other birthing facilities.
- All patients also have the right to request birth control counseling and prescriptions.
- Patients have the right to request an extension on their health insurance policy to cover their medical costs.
- Patients have the right to change their current health insurance plans, something quite prevalent with sudden illnesses or other health conditions.
- All patients can rightfully also appeal for a health plan decision to their local medical review board. The process isn’t usually lengthy. All they require is your name, address, contact number, and query/request.
- Patients with healthcare perks at their workplaces have the right to choose any facility to receive medical treatment other than the one appointed by their employer.
- All patients have rights to mental health and substance abuse services and facilities.
- Patients can also make directives while still under medical observation. These directives include wills, power of attorney, mental health treatment, and other advanced instructions. Moreover, they also have the right to make the healthcare staff follow these directives.
- Patients also have the right to refuse to use seclusions and restraints. Both are, anyways, usually the last resort for doctors and advisors. However, if a patient is unwilling, all healthcare staff must oblige.
- Patients have freedom for all religious practices and spiritual services.
- Patients can also appropriate pain management.
- Patients have the right to know all their rights under the law as early as possible. And before their treatment commences.
- Patients have rights to emergency procedures without unnecessary delays such as lengthy paperwork.
- Patients have the right to receive good quality healthcare regularly reviewed throughout their treatment span.
- Patients have the right to be free from all kinds of harassment.
- Patients also have the right to know all facility rules and regulations, especially those that will apply to them given their medical condition.
- Lastly, patients have the right to challenge any healthcare facility, especially in financial exploitation.
It might be surprising to see how many rights patients have but never utilize. Every patient must know their right to receive the best quality health service and make the best possible decision. However, along with ownership, each patient also has specific responsibilities which they must follow. These include respecting doctors, advisors, and nurses, following the course of treatment religiously, and reporting anything that feels unsafe. Everyone must remember that good quality treatment is only possible when patients simultaneously use their rights and fulfill their responsibilities.