Patient's Rights Charter in Iran
Given the importance of patient's rights in healthcare, special attention has been given to the concept of patient's rights by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education in Iran. Iranian patient's rights charter has been compiled with a novel and comprehensive approach. This charter aims to elucidate rights of recipients of health services as well as observing ethical standards in medicine. This paper presents the Iranian patient's rights charter. Based on a study done from 2007 to 2009, the charter has been finalized through an extensive consultation involving all stakeholders, patients, physicians, nurses, lawyers, patient associations and health policy makers. The developed charter was adopted by the Ministry of Health in December 2009. Iranian patient's rights charter has been formulated in the framework of 5 chapters and 37 articles including vision and an explanatory note. The five chapters concern right to receiving appropriate services, right to access desired and enough information, right to choose and decide freely about receiving healthcare, right to privacy and confidentiality, and finally right to access an efficient system of dealing with complaints which have been explained in 14, 9, 7, 4 and 3 articles, respectively. The paper concludes that, adopting the patient's rights charter is a valuable measure to meet patient's rights; however, a serious challenge is how to implement and acculturate observing patient's rights in practice in our healthcare system in Iran.
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