If You Are A Patient, You Have the Right:
- to have an Advance Directive (living will and appointment of surrogate forms) with the expectation that your attending physician and the hospital will honor its provisions as required by law
- to receive answers to your health care questions for any provider of services
- to be a fully informed participant in health care decisions
- to obtain a clear explanation of all proposed procedures, their risks and side effects, potential problems in recovery, probability of success and ultimate effect on quality of life and prognosis
- to discuss your condition with another doctor or specialist at your request and expense. This may or may not be paid for by your insurance carrier.
- To access all information in your medical record.
If You Are Hospitalized, You have the Right:
- to a complete evaluation of your medical condition and your prognosis, with or without treatment, before you consent to any additional test or procedure
- to refuse any particular drug, test, procedure or treatment
- to have access to visitors and to others by phone
- to privacy regarding information about your medical condition and treatment
- to leave the hospital regardless of your physical condition. You may be asked, but cannot be required, to sign a release saying you do so against your physician’s best judgment.
- To stay in the hospital if you feel you are too sick to leave. Your insurance may not cover the extended stay.
- To be informed of what your health care requirements will be after you leave the hospital
- To receive a complete copy of information in your medical record after you leave the hospital. You will have to ask for it and there will probably be a fee for this service.
If You Are Terminally Ill, You Have the Right:
- to demand that no one in your family be told of your terminal prognosis, if that is your wish
- to refuse treatment even if you will die without it. To demand and to receive adequate medication for pain control even if it will shorten your life.
In emergency-care situations (emergency room, paramedics), it is imperative that you have your medical directive and/or the person designated as you surrogate with you to make sure your rights are honored. Otherwise standard emergency procedures will be followed. If you do not wish to be resuscitated, be certain the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is available. There is a “tear-off” portion of the DNR form which can be laminated and attached to a chain to be worn as a necklace so that the DNR is with you at all times.