What Are a Patient's Rights When in the Hospital?

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While in a hospital, patients retain a number of rights that pertain specifically to medical situations and aren't necessarily covered under more traditional laws. These rights are outlined in the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities as commissioned by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Information Disclosure

  • Patients have the right to accurate information presented in a way they can understand. This information must include information about their health care plans, providers and facilities.

Confidentiality of Health Information

  • Customers have the right to keep all personally identifiable health information confidential. They also have the right to view their medical records, copy them and make amendments.

Access to Emergency Services

  • This right makes sure that you can access emergency care should the need arise without having to worry about payment or any sort of financial penalty.

Participation in Treatment Decisions

  • Patients have the right to be included in any decision-making process about their health care. This includes the ability to allow their family, guardians or others to make treatment decisions on their behalf if they become incapable of making them on their own.

Respect and Non-Discrimination

  • Patients have a right to be treated in a respectful manner by everyone in the health care system at all times. An individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, genetic information or means of payment should have no bearing on the quality of treatment.

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