Patient Bill of Rights

The American Hospital Association developed "A Patient's Bill of Rights" with the belief that it will add to more effective patient care and be supported by the hospital on behalf of the organization, its medical staff, employees, and patients.

Health care involves a partnership between patients and doctors and other health care professionals. Open communication, respect for personal and professional standards, and understanding of differences are important for the best possible patient care. Hospitals should:

  • Provide a base for understanding and respecting the rights and responsibilities of patients, their families, doctors, and other caregivers;

  • Respect the role of patients in decision making about treatment choices and other care; and

  • Be aware of cultural, racial, language, religious, age, gender, and other differences as well as the needs of persons with disabilities.

Hospitals have many functions to perform, including treating injury and disease, health promotion and prevention, rehabilitation of patients, education of health professionals, patients, and the community, and research. All these activities should be conducted with concern for the values and dignity of patients.

For more information:
American Hospital Association
Toll-free number: 1-800-242-2626 (this is the customer service/publication order line)

AHA’s Patient Care Partnership brochure teaches patients about rights and responsibilities in regard to their hospital stay. (It comes in English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.) The brochure is sold in bulk orders only and there’s a fee for non-members. You can read it online for free, in any of the languages, at

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