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Patient Rights

Patient rights are strict claims made by persons seeking and using healthcare resources. Because an actual right obligates someone or some entity to protect or provide something, healthcare professionals and organizations are responsible for acknowledging, honoring, protecting, and supporting patient rights. At the core of the medical decision-making process are significant patient rights—for example, the rights to be treated respectfully, to participate in decisions affecting one's health and future, and to have one's personal medical information kept confidential. During the past 50 years, especially in North America and Western Europe, there has been significant development in identifying what should be included among patient rights.

Historical Development and Context

Multiple cultural and historical events and developments have shaped the patient rights movement during the second half of the ...

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