A patient’s rights and privileges

All patients have certain rights when seeking medical treatment. Some of these are outlined below, but remember that not all rights are protected by law and some may be withheld in emergency situations.

• You should be given by your doctor a clear, concise explanation in nonmedical terms of your condition, problem or disease

• Before any treatment or investigation is carried out, you should be given by your doctor or person carrying out the treatment a clear explanation of the procedure to be followed. Any alternative procedures available, risks, aftereffects, side effects or adverse reactions should also be explained.

• Your consent is required before treatment begins.

• You are entitled to be treated with care, consideration and dignity.

• Your may at any time in hospital withdraw your consent and refuse further treatment.

• You should be informed if the treatment proposed is experimental or is to be part of medical research. You are entitled to refuse to participate in such projects.

• You have the right to ask for a second opinion to be given about your treatment, even if you are a hospital patient.

• You have the right to have the details of your condition and treatment kept confidential, unless the law requires that such information be given to some person or authority.

• If you are a parent or guardian of a patient, you may exercise any of the above rights on behalf of the child or ward.

• If your child is in hospital you may ask to stay with the child at all times, except where separation is necessary for medical reasons.

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