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The basic idea of patient rights is that those who are receiving treatment for physical or mental illness are not required to be the passive recipients of whatever form of treatment the medical professional decides to provide. Because the patient is the one that must bear the consequences of whatever treatment decisions are made, the movement for patient rights declares that the patient is entitled to an active role in the process of deciding whether to treat his or her condition, and if treatment is chosen, what type of treatment to use if there are multiple options.

There has been pressure to establish patient rights at various points in history; often these calls for a codified set of protections come on the heels of a scandal ...

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