What are my Rights as a Patient in the Hospital Nigeria?
It is not a surprise that many persons do not know their rights when they go to hospitals. I strongly hope that after reading this you will know them. The truth remains that you have your own rights while we doctors have our own. We know our rights and we want you to know yours too, it saves us a lot of stress.
What rights do I have as a Patient in a hospital
1. Right of autonomy: You own your life. And you decide what you want to do with it. So the duty of the doctor is to explain to you in clear terms every procedure he wants to take on you and every treatment he is giving you.
You deserve to know. And then, it is on you to accept or reject any treatment process or procedure that you do not like. The most important thing is that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of your choice.
And also remember that you cannot run away from the consequences of your choice. So you have that autonomy to decide for your self (as long as you are adult [18+] )
Are there those who are not autonomous to make decisions?
Yes, the following persons may not be in position to decide for themselves
- Children: In Nigeria anyone less than 18 years is a child, so the parents are usually decision makers.
- Unconscious patients: The caregivers will make decisions for them.
- Patients who do not have anybody: The person becomes a property of the government. So the doctor will take decision in the best interest of the patient with a legal backup from a court of competent jurisdiction.
2. Right to know: Like I said above it is your right to know everything that’s been done on your body. So learn to ask questions. Don’t assume the doctor will feel offended. We like it, I must assure you.
4. Confidentiality: Yes, the doctor owes you a lot in this regard. Every information you are giving out must be between you and the doctor, unless you permit otherwise.
So if this right of confidentiality is breached, be bold to remind the doctor what you want as regards your secrets. But do so with love and respect. Nothings beats that.
Love conquers all things1Cor 13
5. Fair Treatment (Justice): This is not just peculiar to the hospitals alone. It cuts across all other spheres of life. Always insist on first come first serve principle, unless there is someone in emergency.
In this case, the first come, first serve rule may be breached even without your consent please. It is good you understand this, and apply your human understanding.
Am I missing anything? Free to ask questions