6. Your Rights
When in the hospital, you have the right to:
- see your hospital record;
- refuse to be examined by a medical student;
- refuse a diagnostic test or procedure;
- refuse treatment;
- demand that your records be kept a secret;
- leave the hospital at any time.
Informed consent is one of your most important rights as an individual. This means that, before any procedure or treatment, your physician must inform you of its risks and consequences. He must, after this explanation, have you sign a consent form.
You should not feel obliged to sign a consent form even if you are satisfied that you have been fully informed concerning the procedure or treatment in question.
Do not sign a blank consent form. Do not let the physician convince you to sign a blank form, saying, “I’ll fill in the procedure later.” Or, “We’re not sure exactly what the surgery will be at this time.”
Below are your “Bill of Rights” as outlined by the American Hospital Association:
- You have the right to considerate and respectful care.
- You have the right to obtain from the physician complete current information concerning his diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms the patient can be reasonably expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate person in his behalf. He has the right to know by name the physician responsible for coordinating his care.
- You have the right to receive from the physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment. Except in emergencies, such information for informed consent should include but not necessarily be limited to the specific procedure and/or treatment, the medically-significant risks involved, and the probable duration of incapacitation. Where medically-significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when the patient requests information concerning medical alternatives, the patient has the right to such information.
The patient also has the right to know the name of the person responsible for the procedures and/or treatment.
- You have the right to refuse treatment.
- You have the right to every consideration of your privacy concerning your own medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. Those not directly involved in your care must have the permission of the patient to be present.
- You have the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care should be treated as confidential.
- You have the right to expect that within its capacity a hospital must make reasonable response to the request of a patient for services. The hospital must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the the urgency of the case. When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another facility only after he has received complete information and explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer.
- You have the right to obtain information as to any relationship of his hospital to other health care and educational institutions insofar as his care is concerned. The patient has the right to obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationships among individuals, by name, who are treating him.
- You have the right to be advised if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
- You have the right to expect reasonable continuity of care. He has the right to know in advance what appointment times and physicians are available and where. The patient has the right to expect that the hospital will provide a mechanism whereby he is informed by his physician or a delegate of the physician of the patient’s continuing health-care requirements following discharge.
- You have the right to examine and receive an explanation of your bill regardless of sources of payment.
- You have the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to his conduct as a patient.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Choosing A Hospital
- 3. Dangers Of Hospitalization
- 4. Let The People Beware
- 5. Health Advocate
- 6. Your Rights
- 7. Abbreviations
- 8. Nursing Care
- 9. Food
- 10. Drugs
- 11. Tests To Accept Or Reject
- 12. Chemical Feedings
- 13. Surgery
- 14. Intensive Care Unit
- 15. The Emergency Room
- 16. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Is Medicine a Fraud? By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Physician Heal Thyself – Part 1
- Article #2: Physician Heal Thyself – Part 2
- Article #3: Good Drugs
- Article #4: Good Medical Attention by Dr. George E. Crandall
- Article #5: Blood Transfusions by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton