83TAB FIVE | RESOURCES patient guide
is a statement that indicates to family and the health care team whether or not you want your life prolonged by medical
procedures if you are near death with little chance of recovery. This document allows you to refuse treatment once you
are incapacitated. A Health Care Proxy allows you to name an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf.
The documents must be signed and witnessed while you are mentally capable in order to be considered valid. At your
request, your treatment team will furnish you with an Advance Directive form that includes a Living Will and Health Care
Proxy for you to review.
Patient Bill of Rights In 1998, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry adopted a
Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. This is also known as the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
This document was created with three major goals:
1. To help patients feel conﬁdent in the U.S. health care system
2. To stress the importance of a strong relationship between patient and doctor
3. To stress the role patients play in their health by identifying rights and responsibilities of both patient and doctor.
There are eight key areas of the Patient’s Bill of Rights:
1. Information Disclosure – Patients have the right to accurate and easy-to-understand information about their health
plan, doctors and the health care facility.
2. Choice of Providers and Plans – Patients have the right to choose doctors who can provide high-quality health
care when needed.
3. Access to Emergency Services – Patients have the right to be screened and stabilized using emergency
services, without waiting for authorization and without ﬁnancial penalty.
4. Participation in Treatment Decisions – Patients have the right to know their treatment options and take part in
the decision about their care.
5. Respect and Non-Discrimination – Patients have the right to respectful, considerate care from all health care
providers that does not discriminate.
6. Conﬁdentiality of Health Information – Patients have the right to talk privately with their doctor and to have their
health information protected. They have the right to read and copy their own medical record, as well as the
right to ask their doctor to change the record if it is not accurate, relevant or complete.
7. Complaints and Appeals – Patients have the right to a fair, fast and objective review of any complaint against
their health plan, doctors, hospitals or other health care staff.
8. Other Bills of Rights – This bill of rights focuses on hospitals and insurance plans. There are other bills of rights
for special focuses, such as mental health and hospice.
ORGANIZING/STORING IMPORTANT RECORDS AND PAPERS
A cancer diagnosis usually includes many records and other paperwork. These may include medical records, insurance
forms, and invoice and billing statements. These documents are important; having a system for accessing them easily will
help both you and your medical team.