- As a patient, you have the right to considerate, respectful care.
- You have the right to obtain current, understandable, relevant information about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis from your health care providers. (I suggest that you seek out info on your own, if you want to add "objective" and "complete" to the adjectives above.)
- If you speak another language, have a disability, or don't understand something, you have the right to have it explained to you so you do understand it.
- You have the right to immediate emergency screening and stabilization when you're in severe pain or have been injured. (Of course, "immediate" can be hours if the ER is backed up with more pressing cases than yours.)
- Except in emergencies when you must be treated right away, you have the right to discuss your treatment options, the benefits and risks involved, the length of recuperation, and medical alternatives before making a decision about your care.
- You have the right to know the identity of the people involved in caring for you as well as their experience—such as if they're new residents or students.
- You have the right to know the estimated costs of all treatments. (You also have the right to be given a cold compress after fainting upon learning the estimated costs.)
- You have the right to make decisions about the care you'll receive and to refuse certain treatments to the extent permitted by law.
- You have the right to expect that your medical information will be kept confidential, except in cases where reporting it is required by law.
- You have the right to have an advance directive such as a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, or health care proxy.
- You have the right to review your medical records and have the information in them explained to you.
- In a hospital, you have the right to receive medical care within a reasonable time. ("Reasonable" can be much longer than "immediate," and "immediate" is subject to the interpretation explained in a previous right.)
- You have the right to agree or refuse to participate in research studies and to have them fully explained to you before you participate.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment