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Health Care Ethics

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The basic rights of human beings, such as concern for personal dignity, are always of great importance. During illness, however, these rights are extremely vital and must be protected. Therefore, healthcare providers should make an effort to assure that these rights are preserved for their patients. Likewise, health care providers have the right to expect reasonable and responsible behavior on the part of our patients, their relatives, and friends. This is where the patient's bill of rights comes into play.

The Patient's Bill of Rights was first adopted by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in 1973 and revised in October 1992. Patient rights were developed with the expectation that it would contribute to more effective patient care. It aids the patients and their families to understand their rights and responsibilities (Edge et al, 1998).

In theory, once one understood the right, one should be able to reason out the correlative obligations. Below are two obligations to each of the items found in the patient's bill of rights.

Respect and Dignity.

1. Respect the dignity of the patient by being considerate and caring

2. Do not discriminate based on sex, race or religion, etc.


1. Hospital staff should wear name badges to identify themselves.

2. Staff members should introduce themselves to you and describe their roles before care is given.

Participation in Treatment Decisions

1. Provide the patients with their treatment option

2. Allow the patient to participate in the treatment options available

Advanced Directive

1. Advice patients of their rights to make informed medical choices, ask if the patient has an advance directive.

2. Honor the wishes of the patient as stated in his/her directive as permitted by law and hospital policy.


1. Do not disclose information about the patient's case to others without first obtaining written consent.

2. Avoid discussions about patients in public areas such as hallways and elevators


1. Protect the confidentiality of the patient's information and records by storing them in a safe and secure place

2. Avoid discussing personal information with others without the signed consent of the patient.

Review of Records

1. On request, allow the patient access to their medical record.

2. Identify the person making the request to ensure that the information is not mistakenly disclosed to another individual.

Request and Transfers

1. Provide prompt response to any request providing the request is appropriate.

2. Transfer patient to another facility upon request providing receiving facility accepts patient.

9. Institution Affiliations

1. Inform patient of other health care and educational institutions that the hospital has authorized to participate in the patient's treatment.

2. Upon request, provide information on business hospital does business with if it pertains to patient care (medical supplies etc)


1. Provide



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