Patient's Sheet of rights
PATIENT'S HEALTH SERVICE RIGHTS
- The Patient has a right to access health services adequate to requirements of current medical knowledge.
- If delivery of adequate health services is for any reason restricted, the Patient has a right to receive a clear, objective procedure which sets the order of services to be received.
- Patient has a right to demand (from the health service provider):
1) a doctor to get an opinion from another doctor or conduct a consultation
2) a midwife to get an opinion from another midwife.
- Doctor/midwife can refuse to get a second opinion or conduct a consultation if they think that patient's request has no basis.
- Patient's request (and it's possible refusal) is archived in medical documentation.
- The Patient has a right to receive immediate health services in case of endangerment of health or life.
- In case of childbirth the Patient has a right to receive health services relevant to childbirth.
The Patient has a right to receive health services with adequate care by health service providers, in an environment adequate to professional and sanitary legal requirements. Health service providers need to follow professional ethical guidelines specified by adequate institutions.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO INFORMATION
- The Patient has the right to receive and access information on their health state.
- The Patient who is over 16 years of age and their legal guardian have a right to receive intelligible health state information from a doctor, as well as information on proposed diagnostic methods and treatments and information on predictable outcomes of their introduction or refusal of introduction, treatment results and prognosis.
- The Patient or their legal guardian have a right to agree to share the information with parties listed in paragraph 2.
- The Patient has a right to demand the doctor not to share with them the information mentioned in paragraph 2.
- After receiving the information mentioned in paragraph 2, the Patient has a right to express their opinion to the doctor
- In extreme cases, if the prognosis is negative for the Patient, the doctor can limit the patient's knowledge on their own health and prognosis. This is to be done only in case when limited knowledge of one's health can contribute to patient's own good. In such cases the doctor informs about this decision the Patient's representative or other authorised person. However, the Patient retains the right to demand full information on their health state.
- Underage Patients below 16 years of age have a right to demand the doctor to share with them the information mentioned in paragraph 2 in a form needed for proper conduct of diagnostic or therapeutic process.
- The Patient over 16 years of age or their legal guardian can demand nursing information from the nurse or midwife.
A doctor cannot refuse or abort Patient's treatment unless such proceeding is clearly justified and accepted by doctor's superior. In such a case the doctor must inform the Patient in advance that they plan to abort taking part in their treatment and they must recommend other treatment possibilities and another doctor or health care service who can continue the treatment.
- The Patient has a right to be informed about their rights. The hospital has to share such information by writing, placing a copy in their building in commonly accessible places.
- In case of a Patient who is unable to move the information must be shared in such a way that the patient is able to get familiar with it in the room of their stay.
The Patient has a right to receive information about the type and range of hospital's health services. This includes the right to be informed about prophylactic, publicly funded health plans that are carried out in the hospital in a way described in §6.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO SECRET
The Patient has a right for their health information to be held in secret by the medical personnel.
- Medical personnel is obliged to keep the Patient's information secret, especially the information about their health state.
- The obligation is lifted from the personnel if:
1) such is the provision of separate laws,
2) keeping secret endangers the Patient or other persons,
3) the Patient or their guardian agree to sharing the information,
4) there is a need to share the information in order to continue treatment
- Medical personnel is bound by the obligation to keep information in secret even in case of the Patient's death.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO AGREE TO PROVISION OF HEALTH SERVICES
The patient has a right to agree or refuse provision of health services described in §4.
- Patients over 16 years of age have a right to agree to receive health services from a doctor.
- Legal guardian of an underage Patient who fully incapacitated or otherwise unable to consciously make decisions can agree (paragraph 1) for the reception of health services in the name of The patient. In case of a lack of a legal guardian, the decision is to be made by a de facto guardian.
- The Patient above 16 years of age, incapacitated or, mentally ill or handicapped, but reasoning sufficiently has a right to refuse receiving health services, despite an agreement from their guardian. In such a case there is a need for a permit from a guardianship court.
- Agreement or refusal mentioned in paragraph 1÷3 can be provided spokenly or by unequivocal behaviour indicating the will to accept or refuse health services.
In case of surgery or a treatment process that may endanger the Patient's health consent must be expressed in written form
In cases described by specific laws, tests or certain health services might can be performed without the Patient's consent and in spite of their refusal. (article 33 and 34 of the 5/12/1996 act on doctor and dentist professions, 2008 registry No. 136, position 857)
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO INTIMACY AND DIGNITY
- The Patient has a right for their dignity and intimacy to be respected.
- This involves a right to die in peace and dignity. A patient in terminal state has a right to receive services which minimise suffering.
- While health services are performed, a patient's close person can be present.
- Person providing health services can refuse to do so in company of a patient's close person in case of a danger of pandemic or other health concerns. such a refusal is archived in medical documentation.
- Medical profession is obliged to proceed in a way that ensures patient's intimacy and dignity. 2. Medical personnel other than personnel currently providing health services can only be present during provision of medical services only if their presence is necessary. Presence of such personnel must be agreed to by the Patient, or (in case of incapacitation or underage patient) their guardian.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION
Patient has the right to access medical documentation of their health state and received health services.
- The hospital leads, maintains and provides access to medical documentation. The hospital is obliged to protect personal data.
- Doctors, nurses and midwives are authorised to access and process medical data in the documentation.
- Medical documentation contains at least the data specified in the patient's rights act of November 6th 2009 (Dz.U. 2009 No. 52, pos. 417)
- The hospital enables access to medical documentation to the patient or their guardian, or the person authorised by the patient.
- In case of patient's death access to documentation is given to a person authorised by the patient before they passed.
- The hospital also allows insurance companies to access the documentation, if they are first so authorised by the patient and other subjects specified in patient's rights act of November 6 2008.
The hospital shares the medical documentation:
1) to be reviewed at the hospital site,
2) by providing excerpts and copies,
3) by issuing the original upon receipt and subject to return after use if the authorized body or entity requests access to the originals of this documentation.
For sharing the documentation by providing excerpts and copies the hospital cannot charge more than the amount specified in the patient's rights act of November 6th 2008.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO OBJECT TO DOCTOR'S OPINION OR STATEMENT
- Patient or their guardian can object to doctor's opinion or statement in conditions specified in article 2 paragraph 1 of doctor and dentist profession act of December 5th 1996.
- The objection is to be brought into Doctor Commission responsible for Rzecznik Praw Pacjenta, suing the Rzecznik Praw Pacjenta no longer than 30 days after the opinion or statement was issued.
- The objection needs to be justified and adequate laws in favour of the objection must be indicated.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO RESPECTED PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
- The Patient of a hospital has a right to personal, phone or correspondence contact with others.
- The Patient has a right to refuse to contact any persons from outside the hospital.
- The Patient has a right to additional care.
- Additional care is care which is not based solely on providing health services and includes care of women during pregnancy, labour and delivery.
- The Patient is to be adequately charged for the additional services and for contacting people outside the hospital (if the hospital has to pay for a chosen means of contact).
- The amount charged is decided by the director of the hospital, adequate to the actual cost of realisation of patient's right to additional care and contact.
- The information about amounts charged is public and accessible at the hospital.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO SPIRITUAL CARE
Patient of a hospital has a right to spiritual care.
In case of patient's health deterioration or life endangerment the hospital is obliged to enable the patient to meet with a spiritual representative of their faith.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO DEPOSIT VALUABLES
Patient of a hospital has a right to deposit valuables with the hospital. Costs of such a deposit are to be incurred by the hospital unless specific laws state otherwise.
Patient with mental disorders, mental illnesses or mental incapacity has a right to:
1) free health services provided by the hospital,
2) free access to medicine and medical supplements, room, and food if the patient is located in the psychiatric ward,
3) be provided with health services adequate not only to his health state, but also to his personal good and interest and striving to improve their health state in a least invasive way,
4) contact family and other persons with no obstructions when the patient is in the psychiatric ward,
5) apply for a periodic release from the hospital without being discharged from the hospital,
6) be warned of an intention to use brute force against them; The intention to use brute force must be supported by law and a specific act,
7) be warned about an intention to perform psychiatric tests on them without their consent and to be provided with a reason for such a decision; psychiatric test can be performed if the patient's behaviour suggests that due to their mental disorders they can directly endanger their own life or lives of others; or that they are not able to satisfy their basic needs,
8) agree or refuse to be directed to a psychiatric ward - this includes situations in which the law authorises a given mental institution to do so without patient's consent,
9) be informed and explained the reason why they are being sent to a psychiatric ward in a situation when the patient has not expressed consent; the patient is to be informed about their rights,
10) withdraw a previously expressed consent to be directed to a psychiatric ward,
11) necessary medical activities with a purpose of removing the reason why the Patient was directed to the psychiatric ward without their consent, and to be familiarised with their future medical proceedings,
12) be discharged from psychiatric ward if the Patient resides there without their permission and if causes of their admission and stay have receded,
13) to remain in the hospital in a situation if currently the stay is involuntary, but later becomes voluntary,
14) to file (in any form) an application asking to be discharged from the hospital,
15) apply to guardianship court for a discharge warrant if their discharge request was denied by the hospital,
16) receive information on the date and way the application to guardianship court is delivered,
17) submitting an application for the appointment of a probation officer if, while in a psychiatric ward, they need help to manage all their affairs or matters of a specific type.
SPECIFIC PATIENT'S RIGHTS IN THE AREA OF COLLECTION AND TRANSPLANTATION OF CELLS, TISSUES AND ORGANS
The patient has a right to:
1) express or withdraw at any time an objection to post mortem collection of therapeutic cells, tissues, and organs,
2) express consent to have their cells, tissues, or organs collected in order for them to be transplanted to a recipient, if the patient possesses full legal capacities,
3) have the donor's and recipients personal data protected and kept secret,
4) the recipient of cells, tissues, or organs is to be put on a waiting list adequately to medical criteria.
PATIENT'S RIGHT TO BURIAL OF A STILLBORN CHILD
Parents and other close persons authorised to burial have a right to apply for a child's death certificate regardless of the duration of the pregnancy no longer than three days after birth.
OTHER PATIENT'S RIGHTS
- In case any patient's rights were violated the court can compensate the patient monetarily (article 448 of the civil code).
- In case patient's right to die in dignity and peace was violated the court can (if the spouse, relatives or guardian) grant a monetary compensation (article 448 of the civil code).
- The law of act 1 is not put in order in case the following rights were violated:
1) right to deposit valuables,
2) right to information on health services,
3) right to medical documentation.
The director of the hospital or an individual authorised by them can limit the use of patient's rights by patients in case of a pandemic threat or to protect health of other patients.
RZECZNIK PRAW PACJENTA
On November 6th 2008 Rzecznik Praw Pacjenta was established with the aim of protecting the patient's rights.
Rzecznik's activities include:
1) leading legal proceedings in cases of patient's rights violations,
2) leading legal proceedings adequate to the act of November 6th 2008 on Patient's rights,
3) in civilian cases regarding patient's rights violations Rzecznik can demand to commence legal proceedings and be involved in those proceedings,
4) developing and presenting projects and legal acts regarding patient's rights to the ministry council,
5) applying to adequate institutions to start a legislative initiative, or develop or amend legal acts regarding patient's rights,
6) developing and releasing publications and educational programs to spread awareness on patient's rights,
7) cooperating with public authority institutions (especially with the minister of health) in order to ensure patient's laws are respected,
8) presenting to adequate public law institutions as well as professional self-governments medical assessments and proposals aiming to provide effective protection of patient's rights,
9) cooperating with extra-governmental, social, and professional organisations whose statute aims include protection of patient's rights,
10) analysing complaints of patient's in order to identify flaws in current system of health protections,
11) carrying out other tasks specified in the law and ordered by the chief of ministry council.
PRACTICES VIOLATING GROUP PATIENT LAWS
- A practice violating group patient laws is:
1) unlawful organisation of provision of health services or abandonment of provision of health services,,
2) unlawful strike or protest.
- It is forbidden to use practices violating group patient rights.
- Protection of group patient rights is declared in the act of November 6th 2008 on patient's rights.
In cases not covered by this document the following rules apply:
1) act of November 6th 2008 on patient's rights,
2) act of December 5th 1996 on doctor and dentist professions,
3) act of July 15th 2011 on nurse and midwife professions,
4) act of August 19th 1994 on protection of mental health,
5) act of July 1st 2005 on collection, storage and transplantation of cells, tissues and organs,
6) act of December 5th 2008 on prevention and treatment of infectious diseases,
7) act of January 31st 1959 on cemeteries and burials.