The realm of healthcare is deeply rooted in trust and expertise. Patients enter medical establishments with the faith that they’ll receive the best possible care and be treated with respect. But, like all things, the medical sphere isn’t without its imperfections. Ensuring that you’re well-informed about your rights as a patient can be pivotal in receiving the care you deserve. At Mirman Lawyers – NYC medical malpractice law firm, we believe that an informed patient is an empowered one. In this guide, we’ll outline the fundamental rights that every patient should be aware of before setting foot in a doctor’s office or hospital.
1. The Right to Respectful and Non-Discriminatory Care
Every patient is entitled to be treated with dignity, respect, and without any discrimination based on race, religion, age, gender, or any other parameter. Medical professionals must ensure a patient’s privacy and comfort throughout their healthcare journey.
2. The Right to Informed Consent
Before undergoing any treatment, surgery, or medical procedure, a patient has the right to be fully informed about its risks, benefits, and potential alternatives. This knowledge equips them to make informed decisions, and they can choose to consent to or decline the treatment.
3. The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
Your medical records, discussions with healthcare providers, and treatments are confidential. They can’t be disclosed without your permission, except in specific legal circumstances or if there’s a direct threat to your health or public safety.
4. The Right to Access Medical Records
Patients have the right to view and obtain a copy of their medical records. These records can be crucial for obtaining second opinions, transitioning to a new healthcare provider, or for personal reference.
5. The Right to Receive Adequate Health Care
Every patient is entitled to quality care that meets their health needs. If the healthcare provider is unable to offer the necessary treatment or services, they must provide an appropriate referral.
6. The Right to Communication in Understandable Terms
Medical jargon can be perplexing. Patients have the right to receive information in terms they can understand. Whether it’s a diagnosis, treatment plan, or potential risks, healthcare providers should communicate clearly and patiently.
7. The Right to Know the Identity and Credentials of Healthcare Providers
Patients are entitled to know the names, roles, and qualifications of the healthcare professionals attending to them. This transparency fosters trust and ensures patients are aware of the expertise of their caregivers.
8. The Right to Voice Concerns and Complaints
If a patient feels their rights are being infringed upon or they receive unsatisfactory care, they have the right to voice their concerns without the fear of retaliation. Every medical facility should have a mechanism for addressing and resolving patient grievances.
9. The Right to Refuse Treatment
Just as patients have the right to consent, they also have the right to refuse treatment, even if it goes against medical advice. However, this decision should be made with full knowledge of the potential consequences.
10. The Right to Be Informed About Potential Costs
Patients should be informed about the potential costs of treatments, tests, and procedures. This transparency helps in planning and eliminates unforeseen financial burdens.
Knowledge of patient rights is paramount. It ensures a balance of power and responsibility between healthcare providers and patients. While most medical professionals uphold these rights diligently, there are unfortunate instances where negligence or oversight occurs. It’s in these moments that legal expertise becomes indispensable.
If you or someone you know believes their patient rights have been violated, it’s crucial to seek expert legal advice. At Mirman Lawyers, our dedicated team specializes in medical malpractice and is committed to upholding the rights of patients in New York City. We strive to ensure that every individual receives the justice, respect, and care they deserve.