When you find yourself in the hospital, it’s wise to understand the fundamental rights that protect you. Hospital employees have a duty to ensure your safety, respect, and dignity throughout your healthcare journey. Learn more about your basic rights as a hospital patient so you know what to expect and can advocate for yourself if you experience a negative outcome.
As a hospital patient, you have the right to receive all the information you need about your medical condition, proposed treatment, potential risks and benefits, and possible alternatives. This information enables you to make informed decisions about your healthcare.
Your healthcare team should provide this information in clear and understandable language. Dismissive or otherwise poor communication is a sign of a terrible hospital and a low-quality staff.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Every patient in a hospital deserves their privacy. All discussions, consultations, examinations, and treatments should be conducted privately and confidentially.
In addition, your healthcare team should not disclose personal health information to anyone without your explicit consent, except in cases where it is legally required.
Respect and Dignity
You have the right to be treated well in the hospital, no matter what. All hospital staff should treat you with courtesy and respect, without discrimination based on your race, religion, sex, disability, or source of payment. All patients should also have their cultural, spiritual, and personal values respected.
When you check into the hospital, your healthcare team should provide you with appropriate and professional care according to current standards. Legally, they have a duty to provide you with the best care possible and treat you like any reasonable doctor would. This includes access to medical treatment regardless of your financial status, the severity of your condition, or whether or not you have health insurance.
As you check into the hospital for treatment, take a moment to understand the basic rights you have as a hospital patient. You are entitled to adequate and respectful treatment, regardless of your condition or your financial status. When you are familiar with the way you deserve to be treated, you can stand up for yourself in the face of potential injustice.