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What are health care patient rights?

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Quick Answer

Patients' rights in health care stem from provisions like the Bill of Rights from the American Hospital Association, the Affordable Care Act and consumer protections laws, and they are centered on the patient's rights to safe, informed, non-discriminatory, confidential, affordable and quality care, notes the American Cancer Society. Medical institutions, including the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, often post comprehensive lists of patients' rights on their websites.

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Full Answer

The Affordable Care Act gave patients rights to health insurance to get care regardless of preexisting conditions and to receive some preventative services for free. Consumer protections provisions led to patients having the right to personally decide which treatment options they will have, have access to emergency care, receive accurate information about their conditions and have their health information kept private from third-parties without their request, states the American Cancer Society.

Other patients' rights may include not allowing religion, race, disability or other personal factors affect the care a patient receives, being able to have visitors of choice while in a hospital, having access to pain management medications and not being exposed to harmful substances, such as cigarette smoke, notes the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Patients also have rights to see the contents of their own medical records, to not be abused by caregivers and to obtain any necessary assistance, such as an interpreter, to communicate effectively.

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