What are my health care rights and responsibilities?
Jul 09, · Some are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records, and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and healthcare facilities often have a patient bill of rights. An important patient right is informed consent. This means that if you need a treatment, your health care provider must give you the information you . Apr 01, · It is well established that healthcare providers have a duty to care for patients during a pandemic. This duty is rooted in the moral obligation of healthcare providers to act in the best interests of their patients. But it is less clear what this duty requires.
As a patient, you have certain rights. Some are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records, and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and healthcare facilities often have a patient bill of rights.
An important patient right is informed consent. This obliatory that if you need a treatment, your health care provider must give you the information you need to make a decision.
Many hospitals have patient advocates who can help you if you have problems. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care. Your state's department of health may also be able to help. If dights are looking for an insurance-related bill of rights, you might be interested in this information:. To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.
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These include the right: To courtesy, respect, dignity, and timely, responsive attention to his or her needs. To receive information from their physicians and to have opportunity to discuss the benefits, risks, and costs of To ask questions about their health status or recommended treatment when. to health care, particularly the right to access health care paid for by the government, under the U.S. Constitution and interpretations of the U.S. Supreme Court. 4 Explicit Rights in the U.S. ConstitutionFile Size: 1MB. Article 12 goes on to require that “states must protect this right by ensuring that everyone within their jurisdiction has access to the underlying determinants of health, such as clean water, sanitation, food, nutrition, and housing, and through a comprehensive system of health care, which is available to everyone without discrimination, and economically accessible to all.”.
Skip to content. There are rights to which we are entitled, simply by virtue of our humanity. Human rights exist independent of our culture, religion, race, nationality, or economic status.
Only by the free exercise of those rights can we enjoy a life of dignity. Among all the rights to which we are entitled, health care may be the most intersectional and crucial. The very frailty of our human lives demands that we protect this right as a public good. Universal health care is crucial to the ability of the most marginalized segments of any population to live lives of dignity.
Without our health we—literally—do not live, let alone live with dignity. In the United States, we cannot enjoy the right to health care. Our country has a system designed to deny, not support, the right to health. The United States does not really have a health care system, only a health insurance system. Our government champions human rights around the world, insisting that other countries protect human rights, even imposing sanctions for a failure to do so.
Our government is not as robust in protecting rights at home. The right to health care has long been recognized internationally. Ironically, the origins of this right are here in the United States. Eleanor Roosevelt, however, took his work to the United Nations UN , where it was expanded and clarified. That committee codified our human rights, including, at Article 25 , the essential right to health. The United States, together with all other nations of the UN, adopted these international standards.
Since the adoption of the UDHR, every other industrialized country in the world—and many non-industrialized countries—have implemented universal health care systems. Such systems ensure that all persons within their borders enjoy their right to health care. All signatory nations to CESCR are subject to periodic review of progress on the human rights so protected. In preparation for these reviews, the U. Shockingly, or maybe just realistically, the U.
UPR report of the U. The United States could not admit to the UN that it had made no progress on so basic and fundamental a right as health. The UDHR does not condition health upon ability to pay, citizenship, or any other condition.
The United States does. By codifying a system allowing huge corporate profits on health care as a commodity, our government has actually impaired, not improved, our right to health care.
So maybe, and refreshingly, the United States was just being honest with the UN about its failure to ensure and protect the human right to health care.
This failure to protect the right to health is puzzling. The crucial and intersectional nature of that right was recognized in the s by Martin Luther King Jr. It is equally puzzling that our government has lauded, and continues to laud, the passage of the Patient Protection and ACA as a way to guarantee the right to health care.
As a result of the ACA, many people, through Medicaid expansion, are now able to see a medical professional when needed. And prior to enactment of the ACA, the death rate for lack of health care was appalling: Three people in our country died every 30 minutes for lack of health care. Since the ACA, that death rate has gone down, but it is still present. No matter how it is spun, health insurance is simply not health care. Nowhere is that contrast clearer than in personal stories of suffering.
After codification of cost barriers by the ACA, people were shocked; they had been convinced this law was a reform that would actually increase access to health care.
While collecting stories, I spoke to Susan in Vermont. I was told that the ACA would let me get the health care I need. I pay my premium every month. June 18, Religious liberty advocates rally outside the U.
Supreme Court while waiting for the Court's decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. On Jan. She was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in We were fortunate to have comprehensive health insurance at the time, and Jeanette responded well to treatment.
Her cancer went into remission, and everything was great. Then 15 months ago, Jeanette came down with a chronic cough. She went to the doctor and was told that she may have allergies. Looking for a second opinion, she went back to the oncologist who had treated her thyroid cancer and got X-rayed and tested.
The news was terrible: Jeanette had advanced Stage 4 cancer that had spread to almost all of her internal organs. We battled with our insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, to get the chemotherapy pills Jeanette needed.
They denied payment for the pills five times, saying that they needed to find the cheapest vendor. Finally, on the day Jeanette died, the pills arrived. They were tossed onto our deck and left sitting in below-zero temperatures. And the worst part of these stories is that they were enrolled in insurance but could not get needed health care. Our lives depend on the ability to access a nonexistent health care system. Far worse are the stories from those who cannot afford insurance premiums at all.
There is a particularly large group of the poorest persons who find themselves in this situation. Perhaps in passing the ACA, the government envisioned those persons being covered by Medicaid, a federally funded state program. States, however, are left independent to accept or deny Medicaid funding based on their own formulae. Many states have not expanded their Medicaid eligibility.
People caught in that gap are those who are the poorest. They are not eligible for federal subsidies because they are too poor, and it was assumed they would be getting Medicaid. These people without insurance number at least 4. Inability to pay these amounts systemically vitiates the right to health. Imposition of premiums, deductibles, and co-pays is also discriminatory.
Some people are asked to pay more than others simply because they are sick. Fees actually inhibit the responsible use of health care by putting up barriers to access care.
Right to health denied. Cost is not the only way in which our system renders the right to health null and void. Employees remain in jobs where they are underpaid or suffer abusive working conditions so that they can retain health insurance; insurance that may or may not get them health care, but which is better than nothing.
This is nowhere more evident than in the recent Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby , U. Clearly, a human right cannot be conditioned upon the religious beliefs of another person. Despite the ACA and the Burwell decision, our right to health does exist. We must not be confused between health insurance and health care. Equating the two may be rooted in American exceptionalism; our country has long deluded us into believing insurance, not health, is our right.
Our government perpetuates this myth by measuring the success of health care reform by counting how many people are insured. Any system that promotes only insurance cannot possibly meet human rights standards.
For example, there can be no universal access if we have only insurance. We do not need access to the insurance office, but rather to the medical office. There can be no equity in a system that by its very nature profits on human suffering and denial of a fundamental right. After all, insurance companies only make money if they do not pay claims. In short, as long as we view health insurance and health care as synonymous, we will never be able to claim our human right to health.
A system that allows large corporations to profit from deprivation of this right is not a health care system. We must name and claim our right to health. Only then can we tip the balance of power to demand our government institute a true and universal health care system. In a country with some of the best medical research, technology, and practitioners, people should not have to die for lack of health care.
The real confusion lies in the treatment of health as a commodity. Health insurance is no more health care than fire insurance prevents fires in our homes. It is a financial arrangement that has nothing to do with the actual physical or mental health of our nation. Worse yet, it makes our right to health care contingent upon our financial abilities. Human rights are not commodities.
The transition from a right to a commodity lies at the heart of a system that perverts a right into an opportunity for corporate profit at the expense of those who suffer the most.
Health insurance companies make money by denying claims for care while still collecting premiums. They lose money every time we actually use our insurance policy to get care.