Patients’ Rights

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)

…under development

Do No Harm (Non-maleficence)

…under development

Patient Autonomy

Would You Have a Preventive Mastectomy

Doctors Appreciate The Active & Informed Patient

Should Informed Consent include Disparities Data

HPV Vaccine: The Newest Tool in Fighting Cervical Cancer

Has The Time Come for Mandatory HIV/AIDS Testing

Patient Access to Care (Justice)

Expansion of SCHIP is Approved by the House

SCHIP Is Signed into Law

Do Ethnic Minorities Have Less Access to Cancer Screening

What Should Be the Vision for the Future of Academic Medical Centers

Investments in Community Health Centers May Improve the Economy Along with Health

Last Modified: 3/22/2012
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