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Human Rights in Patient Care: A Practitioner Guide

Last Modified: October 1, 2009

THIS GUIDE IS PART OF SERIES published in cooperation with the Law and Health Initiative of the Open Society Institute (OSI) Public Health Program, OSI’s Human Rights and Governance Grants Program, and the Soros Foundations of Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, and Ukraine. Designed as a practical, "how to" manual for lawyers, it aims to provide an understanding of how to use legal tools to protect basic rights in the delivery of health services. The Guide systematically reviews the diverse constitutional provisions, statutes, regulations, by-laws, and orders applicable to patients and health care providers and categorizes them by right or responsibility. It additionally highlights examples and actual cases previously taken by lawyers.

The aim of the Guide is to strengthen awareness of existing legal tools that can be used to remedy abuses within patient care. If adequately implemented, current laws have the potential to address pervasive violations of rights to informed consent, confidentiality, privacy, and non-discrimination. As this can be accomplished through both formal and informal mechanisms, this Guide covers litigation and alternative forums for resolving claims, such as ombudspersons and ethics review committees. It is hoped that lawyers and other professionals will find this book a useful reference in a post-Soviet legal landscape, often rapidly in flux.

This Guide uses the concept of "human rights in patient care", which brings together the rights of both patients and health care providers. The concept of human rights in patient care refers to the application of general human rights principles to all stakeholders in the delivery of health care. These general human rights principles can be found in international and regional treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the European Social Charter. These rights are universal and can be applied to the delivery of health care as to any other context.





Chapter 1 - Introduction


Chapter 2 - International Framework for Human Rights in Patient Care


Chapter 3 - Regional Framework for Human Rights in Patient Care


Chapter 4 - International and Regional Procedures


Chapter 5 - Country Specific Notes


Chapter 6 - National Patients’ Rights


Chapter 7 - National Provider Rights and Responsibilities


Chapter 8 - National Procedures and Appendixes




pdf Download the Guide (1.7 MB)


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