US Patient’s Bill of Rights
Every individual receiving medical care is entitled to certain guarantees, often referred to as a Patient’s Bill of Rights. They have been adopted by hospitals (where they are generally posted open throughout the facility), medical and other clinical provider societies, and disease advocacy organizations. This documents vary but all speak to a patient’s right to 1) access to information, 2) fair treatment and 3) autonomy over their medical decisions.
- The State of NY adopted a Patient’s Bill of Rights in the form of Public Health Law 2803. The language used in this document is similar to the language you will find in similar documents in hospitals or health centers throughout the country.
- A new Patients Bill of Rights emerged with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act of 2010.
Every Patient Bill of Rights is grounded in bioethical principals. Bioethics provides safeguards for individuals in medical research and medical practice. In your quest to be an informed patient, actively involved in your health care and medical decision-making, it helps to know your rights. Bioethics is framed around four principles that promote patient well-being (beneficence), protect patients from harm (non-maleficence), accord respect for patients’ right to accept or deny treatment (autonomy) and generally promote the pursuit of what is right (justice). The following articles discuss the bioethical implications of health care policy and/or medical practice for a variety of diseases and conditions. Known them, learn to identify them, then advocate for them…it’s your right.
Patient Well-being (Beneficence)
Do No Harm (Non-maleficence)