Planning for a hospital stay can be a very anxious time under the best of circumstances. Not fully understanding your rights while under the care of the hospital, however, may lead to additional medical issues giving way to a possible hospital malpractice lawsuit.
Establishing Patient Rights
In 1973, the American Hospital Association’s House of Delegates implemented the Patient’s Bill of Rights as a measure to not only protect the patient but also medical providers as well. The guidelines were designed to encourage effective health care by strengthening the collaboration between patients and their medical team. They were also employed to open lines of honest communication and to elevate levels of respect between both patients and medical professionals.
The list also holds responsible the medical team responsible for ensuring the ethical treatment of all patients. In addition, the Patient’s Bill of Rights specifies that all medical professionals be sensitive to patients of varying cultural, racial, linguistic, religious beliefs, age, gender, and disability.
In preparation for a hospital stay, the following summary of the Patient’s Bill of Rights may provide valuable insight regarding ethical and quality medical care during your treatment. You, as the patient, have the right to:
- Receive considerate and respectful care;
- Be provided all information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
- Make personal decisions regarding care and to be made aware of the dangers of refusing care treatment options;
- Draft an advance directive, such as a living will, health care proxy, or durable health power of attorney;
- Exercise privacy considerations;
- Expect that all communications and medical records are kept confidential;
- Request and review all personal medical records and, if needed, to have these records interpreted;
- Request changes in treatment plan or to move to another facility;
- Request and be informed of all relationships among hospitals, educational institutions, and other health care providers;
- Refuse involvement in experimental treatment options while still receiving adequate care;
- Expect disclosure of reasonable care continuity options following a hospital stay; and
- Be informed of hospital policies and practices as it relates to patient care, treatment, and financial responsibility.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights looks to facilitate a collaborative effort by both the medical team and the individual patient to secure an effective course of treatment. Patients are responsible for communicating their medical history as health care professionals are expected to take all this information into consideration when drafting and disclosing all aspects of a treatment plan.
If you feel that your treatment plan or recovery was compromised by a deviation from the Patient’s Bill of Rights or lack of full disclosure, the experienced Aurora medical malpractice attorneys at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C., can help. We understand the complexities of establishing hospital negligence and will help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.