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Patients’ Rights-What You Should Know And Ask For!

It is said that if health is lost, everything is lost. Therefore, in order to preserve the most important asset of one’s life, a highly cautious attitude towards our health is desirable.

These rights of a patient as a consumer are more important than the rights of a general consumer because patient usually has very little choice in the treatment. The Indian Constitution bestows certain rights on the citizens. One of them is Right to life. Right to a healthy life is an integral part of the Right to life. Basic optimal health care is the right of every Indian citizen and it is the responsibility of the state. Here’s what you need to know:

- Right to Information: Every patient has a right to access to all treatment details of himself or his family. The doctor is obliged to give you complete, up-to-date information of the disease, its treatment and recovery process. As well, a patient can demand all his medical records.

- Informed consent: Before undertaking any medical procedure or test, a written consent of the patient or his relative is a must. This consent must include all the details of the procedure. In any procedure done without an informed consent, the healthcare system is liable to punishment.

- Confidentiality: Each patient has a right to privacy. A doctor cannot disclose your personal or treatment details in any form without a written permission from you.

- Emergency treatment: No hospital or doctor can deny treatment. Though, if there is a lack of equipments or facility, the doctor can refer you to another hospital.

- Refusal of treatment: As a competent adult, everyone has a right to accept, refuse or change a medical treatment. It is your choice!

These are all critical rights of the patients, which can help us in emergencies and routine healthcare. Do not overlook these rights!


Anchal Tiwari is a lawyer currently working under law and legislative affairs department of Chhattisgarh. She encourages people to know their rights in all disciplines to lead a better and easier life.
Connect to your hero Anchal at anchal.hnlu@gmail.com


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Comments

Dr Vinay Tiwary   |   07, Aug 2016

Nice article Anchala; medical jurisprudence is still very primitive stage in India - more awareness among both Health Seekers and Doctors are needed more than that its important the authorities lay down a patient and doctor centric rules, Some time when we try for Informed Consent with patient they are very reluctant to go further with our services. Last time when we explained a over anxious mother that phlebotomy of her 4 year old child may cause trauma and sub cutaneous bleed if child doesn't behave, she walked off without sampling.