Patient’s Bill of Rights. The Patient’s Bill of Rights was adopted by the American Hospital Association in 1973 and revised in 1992. This document describes the rights of patients and the responsibilities that hospitals and healthcare providers have to support these rights and deliver effective health care. Most hospitals should have a copy of the Patient’s Bill of Rights or contact the American Cancer Society at 800.ACS.2345 or www.cancer.org.
Informed Consent. Prior to performing most procedures, your physician will ask you to sign an Informed Consent form. (Your doctor will explain what the procedures are and the risks and benefits.) By signing the form, you agree to the procedures, and that you understand the risks and benefits. You should have an opportunity to ask all of your questions. Your doctor will also explain what choices you have regarding available treatments. Make sure you read the consent form very carefully before you sign it. If you do not agree with any part of it, cross out that part and initial it. When you sign the form, you are giving permission for your doctor to treat you. You are not absolving your doctor of negligence.
Access to your medical record. You have a right to obtain an updated copy of your medical record. You will have to sign a release form to get that copy. The person who works in your doctor’s office can help you fill out the papers. You might have to pay a small fee to obtain your records. It is a good idea for you to keep current copies of all your medical records.