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What is the Patient Bill of Rights?

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Quick Answer

The Patient Bill of Rights is a set of guidelines, freedoms and rights for patients in medical facilities, according to MedlinePlus. Health care providers must provide patients with a Patient Bill of Rights, which serves as informed consent.

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Full Answer

A Patient Bill of Rights may vary based on the state in which medical treatment is provided, according to MedlinePlus. For example, some rights are guaranteed by federal law, such as access to medical records and an assurance that medical records are confidential and private. Some states have additional laws and rights that protect patients and provide additional rights.

Some of the most common freedoms protected within a Patient Bill of Rights include the right to seek consultation with a physician of choice, the right to refuse medical treatment recommended by physicians, and the right to be informed about the risks and benefits of treatments, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. A Patient Bill of Rights may also restrict health facilities from releasing medical records to certain individuals unless designated by the patient and allows patients to contract with physicians once mutually agreeable terms have been reached. The Patient Bill of Rights additionally gives patients the right to refuse third-party interference in medical care.

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