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Patient Rights and Obligations

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Patient Rights and Obligations

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General Health Act

Basic Law Regulating patient autonomy and patient rights and obligations with regard to clinical information and documentation.

Patient rights

Basic principles:

The dignity of the person and respect for his/her wish and privacy will guide all activities aimed at obtaining, using, filing, safeguarding and transferring clinical information and documentation.

All health-related actions require the patient or user's prior consent. This consent must be given in writing.

The patient or user has the right to freely decide between the available clinical options.

Any professional involved in healthcare activities is under the obligation to provide a correct service and fulfil his/her duties to inform the patient and respect the decisions freely and voluntarily taken by the patient.

The right to healthcare information
  • Patients are entitled to be provided with all the available information about their health, except in the cases established by law. This information must be truthful and must be explained to the patient in comprehensible language. The doctor responsible for the patient guarantees that the right to information will be respected.
  • The patient is the person who holds the right to information. In the case of incapacity, the patient will be informed at the same time as his/her legal representative.
The right to privacy
  • Every person has the right to expect that the confidentiality of his/her healthcare details will be respected and no one can access them without prior authorisation.
  • Health centres must guarantee their patients' right to privacy.
Patient autonomy
  • All clinical procedures require the consent of the patient concerned. In the case of an operation or any other invasive procedure, consent must be given in writing. However, the doctors may carry out interventions that are essential for the patient's health without consent in certain cases that are authorised by law.
  • Before written consent is obtained, the doctor must provide all the basic information about the procedure that will be performed.
Discharge report
  • Every patient, relative or associated person has the right to receive a discharge report from the health centre once the treatment process is completed.
  • Every patient or user has the right to be provided with all the reports certifying his/her state of health.

Patient obligations

  • The patient must make a written statement of his/her refusal to receive the treatment proposed by the doctor.
  • The patient must always provide truthful details about his/her physical state and collaborate in the collection of said information.
  • If the prescribed treatment is refused, the patient will be asked to sign a voluntary discharge form. If he/she fails to sign it, the centre will propose obligatory discharge, always within the situations regulated by law.
  • The patient must respect the health centre's facilities and treat them with the due care.

The patient or user must treat the centre's staff with respect and dignity and must not interfere with their work.