Your Rights when Receiving Healthcare

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When you visit your medical doctor, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse or any other health/mental health professional, you’re entitled to be treated in a certain way.

Here are some of your rights as a patient or client:

Honesty. You have a right to receive all available and accurate information about your mental and physical health from your provider so you are able to make educated decisions about your care. If there’s something that you don’t understand, your provider should clarify.

Control over your treatment. You have the right to make decisions about your care. If you feel like you can’t make these decisions on your own with the information that your provider has given you, you also have the right to be supported by friends and family in your decision-making process.

Choice. You have the freedom to choose whomever you want to be treated by.

Respect. You have the right to receive care that’s respectful of you and your background, religious beliefs, cultural needs and values. Health care providers should never discriminate against you based on your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or ability.

Confidentiality. You have the right to talk with your health care provider and know that everything you say will be kept confidential. Health care professionals are required ethically to keep all your information private unless they think that you might be at risk of harming yourself or others. The privacy of your medical records is also protected by law. Check out the Confidentiality fact sheet for more information.

Speedy care. You have the right to receive prompt treatment. If you’re facing an emergency, you also have the right to services like ambulances and emergency department care.

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Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.


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