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Patient Rights

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Summary

As a patient, you have certain rights. Some are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records, and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and health care facilities often have a patient bill of rights.

An important patient right is informed consent. This means that if you need a treatment, your health care provider must give you the information you need to make a decision.

Many hospitals have patient advocates who can help you if you have problems. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care. Your state's department of health may also be able to help.

Start Here

  • (American Hospital Association) - PDF Also in
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights) - PDF

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF Also in
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Specifics

  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care)

Patient Handouts

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