Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy PATIENT’S Bill of Rights Day!

Okay there is really no official document or law called the Patient’s Bill of Rights and there is no special day celebrating its existence.  However, today is Bill of Rights Day 2014, which is officially recognized by the United States government.  December 15th marks the day in 1791 when the first ten amendments to the US Constitution were ratified.  Although these rights did not say they applied to health care and patients, it is because of the rights established in that document that we have rights as patients today. 

Although there is no one document that spells out the rights patients have regarding health care, it is through government programs and regulations that some of the basic rights we have as citizens extend to the health care services we receive.  This is particularly clear when we receive our health care services from or paid for by the federal government. 

In 1998 President Bill Clinton directed various federal agencies to use their authority to bring health care programs in line with a basic Patient’s Bill of Rights.

According the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Archives, “The Patients' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities has three goals: to strengthen consumer confidence that the health care system is fair and responsive to consumer needs; to reaffirm the importance of a strong relationship between patients and their health care providers; and to reaffirm the critical role consumers play in safeguarding their own health.”

The Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities set out the right to:

·         Informed Choice
·         Access Emergency Services
·         Full Partnership in Health Care Decisions
o   When cannot do for self; right to be represented by others.
·         Care Without Discrimination
·         Privacy 
·         Speedy Complaint Resolution

By looking at the above, can you make connections with the Bill of Rights or other aspects of the U.S. Constitution or other laws? 

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