a. Again, imagine yourself entering a hospital. Someone of authority replaces
your clothes with standard blue pajamas. It seems to you that everyone working at the
hospital has a greater knowledge than you of your own health. You are told what you
may eat, when you may eat, when you may or may not sleep, when you may have
visitors, and who they will be. In other words, your range of control over your life has
been drastically reduced. In many aspects, you have been placed in a position of
submission, under the authority of the health care providers.
b. As we mentioned previously, some people respond to these role changes
with no apparent changes in their behavior or attitude. Others, however,
unquestionably accept the authority of those in control. They overlook the fact that they
have inherent legal and ethical rights as patients.
A list of patients' rights has been printed and widely accepted among medical
facilities. As you contemplate the following list of some of those rights and how they
relate to your particular health care role, remember that respect for the rights of the
patient plays a large part in patient satisfaction and thereby the healing process. The
following points can be applied to outpatient as well as inpatient settings.
a. The patient has the right to impartial access to treatment and
accommodations regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion, or sources of
payment for his care.