Patient's Rights And Responsibilities
Courtesy of the Veteran's Health Administration
The Department of Veterans Affairs respects the rights of the patient, recognizes that each patient is an individual with unique health care needs, and, because of the importance of respecting each patient's personal dignity, provides considerate, respectful care focused upon the patient's individual needs. The Department of Veterans Affairs assists the patient in the exercise of his/her rights and informs the patient of any responsibilities incumbent upon him/her in the exercise of those rights.
The following lists of Patients Rights are assured for each patient unless medically contraindicated. You have the right to consent to or to refuse recommended treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal. This facility has in place mechanisms for the consideration of ethical issues arising in the care of patients and to provide education to caregivers and patients on ethical issues in health care. You have the rights to present grievances if you feel these rights have not been provided.
A description of these rights detailed on the previous page and the way to present grievances is posted on each ward and in other treatment areas.
Your complying with the following list of Patient Responsiblities is necessary to assure you of the highest quality care. It shows also the importance of your contribution to your care. You are responsible for the following:
The Department of Veterans Affairs affirms the patient's right to make decisions regarding his/her medical care, including the decision to discontinue treatment, to the extent permitted by law. Each patient has a right to complete a form known as an "advance directive," a written statement which the patient completes in advance of serious illness about which medical decisions he/she wants made for him/her in the event that he/she can no longer make his/her wishes known.
The two most common forms of advance directives are a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. You will be asked about your wishes regarding an advance directive at admission. This document, if you choose to create one, will be maintained as part of your medical record and will be reviewed periodically with you or your surrogate decision maker. The provision of care is not the existence of an advance directive. A policy on informed decision making is developed by the medical and administrative staff and is consistent with all legal requirements. There are also hospital-wide policies on the withholding of resuscitative services from patients and the forgoing or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment.
The care of the dying patient optimizes the comfort and dignity of the patient through treating primary and secondary sysptoms that respond to treatment as desired by the patient or surrogate decision maker, effectively managing pain, and acknowledging the psycho social and spiritual concerns of the patient and the family regarding dying and the expression of grief by the patient and family.
The guardian, next of kin, or legally authorized responsible person representing the patient has the right to exercise, to the extent permitted by law, the rights delineated on behalf of the patient if the patient has been adjudicated incompetent in accordance with the law, is found by his/her physician to be medically incapable of understanding the proposed treatment or procedure, or is unable to communicate his/her wishes regarding treatment.
Department of Veterans Affairs