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A Patient’s Bill of Rights

The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons endorses a Patient’s Bill of Rights. It is an expectation that compliance with patients’ rights can contribute to an effective patient care program. A modification of the American Hospital Association’s statement on a patient’s Bill of Rights has been incorporated as part of the framework of the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons.

Introduction

Effective health care requires collaboration between patients and physicians and other health care professionals. Open and honest communication, respect for personal and professional values, and sensitivity to differences are integral to optimal patient care. As the setting for the provision of health services, IAHRS members must provide a foundation for understanding and respecting the rights and responsibilities of patients, their families and other physicians. IAHRS members must ensure a health care ethic that respects the role of patients in decision-making about treatment choices and other aspects of their care. IAHRS members must be sensitive to cultural, racial, linguistic, religious, age, gender, and other differences, as well as the needs of persons with disabilities.

Bill of Rights

These rights can be exercised on the patient’s behalf by a designated surrogate or proxy decision-maker if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent, or is a minor.

  1. The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care.
  2. The patient has the right to, and is encouraged to, obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
  3. Except in emergencies when the patient lacks decision-making capacity and the need for treatment is urgent, the patient is entitled to the opportunity to discuss and request information related to the specific procedures and/or treatments, the risks involved, the possible length of recuperation, and the medically reasonable alternatives and their accompanying risks and benefits.
  4. Patients have the right to know the identity of physicians, nurses, and others involved in their care, as well as when those involved are students or other trainees. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known.  
  5. The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment, and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
  6. The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should be conducted in a manner that protects each patient’s privacy.
  7. The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care will be treated as confidential by the hair transplant surgeon and their staff, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law.
  8. The patient has the right to review the records pertaining to his/her medical care and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, except when restricted by law.
  9. The patient has the right to expect that, the hair transplant surgeon will make reasonable response to the patient’s request for appropriate and medically indicated care and services. The hair transplant surgeon must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case.
  10. The patient has the right to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hair transplant surgeon, educational institutions and other health care providers that may influence the patient’s treatment and care.
  11. The patient has the right to consent to or decline to participate in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement, and to have those studies fully explained prior to consent. A patient who declines to participate in research or experimentation is entitled to the most effective care that the hair transplant surgeon can otherwise provide.
  12. The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate.
  13. The patient has the right to be informed of IAHRS members’ policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment, and responsibilities. The patient has the right to be informed of available resources for resolving disputes, grievances, and conflicts, such as ethics committees, patient representatives, or other mechanisms available.
  14. The collaborative nature of health care requires that patients, their families and or representatives participate in their care. The effectiveness of care and patient satisfaction with the course of treatment depends, in part, on the patient fulfilling certain responsibilities. Patients are responsible for providing information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters related to health status. To participate effectively in decision-making, patients must be encouraged to take responsibility for requesting additional information or clarification about their health status or treatment when they do not fully understand information and instructions. Patients are responsible for informing their physicians and other caregivers if they anticipate problems in following prescribed treatment.

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