Health + Fitness

5 Rights Every Patient Should Know

When it comes to your health, it’s important to know that your rights are protected under the provisions of the law.  If you’re not very well informed regarding your rights, you could easily be placed in a position that is counterproductive to your physical health. 

Set aside some time to devote to research, and make sure your physical health if properly tended to by the medical professionals you seek.  If you feel you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you need to know how to take the next steps in your journey.    

Get started from square one, and first learn a little about what constitutes medical malpractice.  Here is a brief look at some important patient rights everyone should know. Take mental notes as you read, and arm yourself with knowledge.  

The right to informed consent

As a medical patient, you have the legal right to be treated with dignity and respect throughout the course of your care.  Before you ever receive new treatments or medications, you must legally oblige the healthcare provider to administer the treatment.  

You have the right to tell the doctor no.  No matter what treatments are suggestion, the decision to proceed is always your right. 

The right to understand medical coverage

Not everyone is a scholar, and medical coverage can be quite confusing.  The terminology and presentation can be hard to fully grasp, but there are legal provisions for your understanding.  

You should be able to fully understand the complete spectrum of your medical coverage, and you should understand the limitations of the coverage you have acquired.  There should also be readily available assistance for those who may not fully understand the details of the medical insurance provisions.  

The right to a reasonable choice of providers

You should always keep in mind that you have the legal right as a medical patient to seek out a new healthcare provider should you begin feeling unsatisfied with services.  You should be able to easily acquire information regarding provider credentials and specific facility accreditation reports. You should also be able to acquire information regarding your provider’s knowledge about individual diseases and disorders which may affect your treatment.  

The right to understand practitioner incentives

As a patient, you have the right to information pertaining to your medical provider’s special interests and incentives.  Understanding who funds a particular practitioner can tell you a whole lot about their motives.  

The responsibilities of the patient

As a patient, you are not entirely free of responsibility when it comes to your health maintenance.  You have the responsibility to make positive health decisions on a daily basis. You have a responsibility to follow the directions your doctor lays out for treatment, and it’s your responsibility to understand the provisions of your healthcare.

Anna Johansson

Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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