Did you know?
1. You have the right to be treated with respect, whatever your condition, whatever your reason for being admitted to the hospital.
2. You should be made as comfortable as possible, whatever the situation. If there’s too much noise, have the situation rectified. If the lights are making you photosensitive, ask that they be dimmed, or that you be placed where you can’t see them. If you are experiencing any seizure triggers, explain to the nurse and ask for a room change.
3. You can demand to be treated by a full-fledged doctor instead of a resident. (Which is good news, since ER docs are not the brightest crayons in the box when it comes to epilepsy.)
4. You may have full access to your medical records and request copies, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.
5. You have the right to “informed consent” where you are provided with a clear explanation with of details, risks and benefits prior to a test, treatment or procedure.
6. You may refuse to be examined or treated by someone you feel is not competent and ask for another doctor.
7. You can refuse any medication — as long as you are advised of the possible consequences.
8. You may designate any visitors you want – or don’t want — as long as you provide signed documentation and adhere to hospital visiting rules. (I learned that the hard way when I was denied by my step-mother from visiting my dying father.)
9. You may have a patient advocate by your side 24 hours a day, whether it’s a relative, a loved one or even a hired professional advocate.
10. You have the right to request an ethics consultant (a physician, nurse, patient representative, and/or family member) in case there is a disparity in treatment or requests, such as “Do Not Resuscitate” options.
This information comes from Patient Advocate Trisha Torry, author of the book: You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes http://www.everypatientsadvocate.com/
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About the author
I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.