When you or a loved one is in a clinical facility or hospital, you hope for the best experience and outcome. During November HBN interviews about discouraging and even heartbreaking problems with hospitals’ treatment of covid patients, the Patient Bill of Rights was mentioned. I thought it might be helpful to put that in the blog and then the Library. The first twelve items listed below have been copied directly from the federal government’s National Institutes of Health website. That government list seems like a credible source to present to a hospital if it is ignoring one or more of the rights. However, I’ve added more items (13-18) below from different and possibly better sources.
Words in bold are only simplified labels that are not intended to change the meaning of the paragraph. [Bracketed italic text is my personal input.]
You have the right:
- to Appropriate Medical Care and Humane Treatment. To safe, considerate and respectful care, provided in a manner consistent with your beliefs; [see item 15 regarding religious beliefs.]
- to Privacy and Confidentiality To expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law;
- to know the physician in charge. To know the physician responsible for coordinating your care at the Clinical Center; [HBN guest Jena Griffith says we have the right to fire that physician and ask for another.] See #13 below for more.
- to Information. To receive complete information about diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis from the physician, in terms that are easily understood. If it is medically inadvisable to give such information to you, it will be given to a legally authorized representative; [this is only one of a lot of reasons it is smart to have an advocate with you in the hospital.]
- to Informed Consent. To receive information necessary for you to give informed consent prior to any procedure or treatment, including a description of the procedure or treatment, any potential risks or benefits, the probable duration of any incapacitation, and any alternatives. Exceptions will be made in the case of an emergency; [Read about the basis for “informed consent” and the government is ignoring that. I think that sufficient informed consent was not likely given for covid vaccines or for remdesivir because the side effects were widely ignored and even suppressed.]
- to Receive Routine Services. To receive routine services when hospitalized at the Clinical Center in connection with your protocol. Complicating chronic conditions will be noted, reported to you, and treated as necessary without the assumption of long-term responsibility for their management;
- to continuity of care. To know in advance what appointment times and physicians are available and where to go for continuity of care provided by the Clinical Center;
- to pain treatment. To receive appropriate assessment of, and treatment for pain;
- to refuse participation in RESEARCH. To refuse to participate in research, to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of these actions, including possible dismissal from the study and discharge from the Clinical Center. If discharge would jeopardize your health, you have the right to remain under Clinical Center care until discharge or transfer is medically advisable; [patients may have been given covid vaccines without their knowledge or being told they were still experimental.]
- be transferred after a study. To be transferred to another facility when your participation in the Clinical Center study is terminated;
- have your physician informed. To expect that a medical summary from the Clinical Center will be sent to your referring physician;
- to request information sent to others. To designate additional physicians or organizations at any time to receive medical updates.
The following topics (13-17) are from the American Patient Rights Organization:
- to know staff and status. The APR organization added more to #3 above about knowing the physician’s name: “Patients have the right to know the identity of physicians, nurses, and others involved in their care, as well as when those involved are students, residents, or other trainees.”
- to know about Conflicts of Interest. The patient has the right to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, other health care providers, or payers that may influence the patient’s treatment and care.” [This is an important item. I find it telling and worrisome that this right is not on the federal list #1 thru #12, especially considering the huge financial bonuses given to hospitals for labelling patients as covid and for using the dangerous and ineffective drug Remdesivir.]
- to Self-Determination. “The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. In case of such refusal, the patient is entitled to other appropriate care and services that the hospital provides or transfer to another hospital. The hospital should notify patients of any policy that might affect patient choices within the institution.” [This one is much more beneficial if #5 and #14 above are appropriately observed.]
- to know Financial Implications. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known.
- to Invoke a Living Will. “The patient has the right to have an advance directive (such as a living will, health care proxy, or durable power of attorney for health care) concerning treatment or designating a surrogate decision-maker with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. Health care institutions must advise patients of their rights under state law and hospital policy to make informed medical choices, ask if the patient has an advance directive, and include that information in patient records. The patient has the right to timely information about hospital policy that may limit its ability to implement fully a legally valid advance directive.”
- to Make Choice Based on Religious Beliefs. This item is from doctorpedia.com and may be useful: The bottom line is that adults of sound mind, who are mentally capable of making their own medical decisions, have every right to refuse a procedure for themselves. Even if doctors strongly object to the patient’s decision, they cannot be forced to administer care. And in almost all cases, parents cannot refuse life-saving care on behalf of their children, even if they state religious beliefs as their reason. The law may vary by state and is still a very complex issue and topic of discussion. But in emergency situations, doctors may be forced to override a patient’s wishes, including their religious beliefs, and provide them with the treatment that they need to survive.
Sometimes even the most persistent pressure from a patient or his or her advocate is not enough to get a hospital to honor the rights and a lawyer is hired. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work either. In Texas, a court allowed a hospital to refuse treatment with Ivermectin (never mind all the studies showing its safety and effectiveness).
The Truth for Health nonprofit organization fights to protect patient rights and to hold hospitals accountable for malpractice and wrongful deaths. Go here to report vaccine injury (simply reading the list of potential harms will give you pause about getting the shots). Click here to learn about the types of indefensible practices in health care facilities or to report a bad experience with covid treatment. (There are a lot of helpful resources on that website.)