Patients' Rights Handbook
Publisher: Critical List
Year Published: 1977
Pages: 4pp Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX318
A document that outlines the list of rights held by patients and how to complain if those rights are being ignored.
This handbook is published for Canadians by Critical List: Health and the Illness Business, a magazine dedicated to the analysis and criticism of the health care industry as it relates to patients. The handbook begins by asserting that many patients and health care employees do not realize that patients do
indeed have rights. At present, the protection given by patients' rights is minimal and there is a need to educate patients about their rights and to organize to demand more extensive rights. The handbook points out that the North American health care system is controlled by large corporations for whom patient welfare is a secondary priority to profiteering.
The handbook lists and explains eight patients' rights including the right to complete information, the right to refuse consent, the right to confidentiality, the right to quality care and the right to switch physicians. In a "How to Complain" section, the procedure for action against the violation of rights is outlined. It is noted that complaints are not often welcomed or acted upon by people in the health care system and that often it is necessary to take legal action. Another formal method of enforcing patient's rights is to complain to the professional college or association of the person involved or to the hospital administration. In certain instances and in certain provinces, appeals may be made to the provincial ombudsman. If satisfaction is not achieved, it may be necessary to write to various provincial medical boards and councils. The handbook lists the addresses of these in the ten provinces. The addresses of various patients rights associations and medical associations are also listed since these may be able to provide additional help and advice.