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Hospital rights for patients in New York

On the New York State Department of Health website, there is a section that deals with the rights a person has when he or she is a patient in a hospital in the state. Regulations and laws are in effect to make sure patients are given quality, safe care while hospitalized. Each person is different, and the law is designed to offer protection to all.

One of the primary tenets discussed is the basic right for everyone to fully understand and be actively involved in the decision-making about their care and treatment. All recommended tests and any prescribed drugs or treatments should be clearly explained to the patient. It cannot be stressed enough that individuals need to take an active role in their medical care, and they do have the right to know what is happening at every phase.

In the past, people may have been hesitant to ask questions of doctors or nurses, feeling they would appear disrespectful or distrusting of the medical personnel, but those days are gone. A patient is encouraged to openly ask questions. In fact, patient representatives are available to give answers and help find solutions, even if the questions arise before the person ever enters the hospital.

Guidelines are in place governing procedures for hospitals to follow when discharging an individual. If patients feel they have been the victim of hospital negligence by being asked to leave too soon, this information should be reported to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct within the New York State Department of Health. In addition, it may be advisable to talk with a lawyer about bringing an action that might potentially hold the providers responsible for a violation of patient rights.

Source: New York State Department of Health , "Your Rights as a Hospital Patient in New York State - Section 1", September 21, 2014

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