The Patient’s Rights Law was approved by a plenum of the Knesset on May 1, 1996. The law has come to define the relationship between people requiring treatment and doctors and other medical professionals. A major benefit of the law is that it has defined a set of behavioral norms and codes related to patients’ rights that are binding for all medical professionals.
Medical treatment is a type of partnership between the patient and the medical team. The assumption upon which the Patient’s Rights Law is based is that the patient is an intelligent person generally capable of asserting his right to receive proper medical treatment. This is expressed in the following statement, which appears in the first paragraph of the law: “This law’s purpose is to define the rights of a person requesting medical treatment or receiving medical treatment and to protect his dignity and privacy.”
The Patient’s Rights Law has required all managers of medical institutions to appoint an employee to be responsible for patients’ rights, as well as to investigate all complaints and handle them. According to a survey performed by Hadassah Hospital, all hospitals appoint someone to be responsible for patients’ rights; however, these people perform this function in addition to their other managerial or organizational positions. The report concluded that the protections given by the law to those responsible for patients’ rights does not provide them with enough independence from the management of the health institutions. Therefore, it was proposed to strengthen their independent position either through legislation or regulations and to provide them with the required means to perform their professional duties including training and instructing the medical staff regarding maintenance of patients’ rights. Click here to view the full survey regarding those responsible for patients’ rights in hospitals (summary in English on page 4).
to see the Law’s twelve principles.
to see The Patient’s Rights Law.
for information regarding medical malpractice (Hebrew).
to download an article entitled “Chaperones and Family Members in the Health System” (Hebrew).
Translated by The Shira Pransky Project