The Hospital Patient’s Bill of Rights
French law requires a bill of rights for hospital patients that protects your rights as a patient, such as the right to access information about your health and the right to refuse treatment
- Each patient is free to choose the health care institution in which they will be treated, within the limitations of each institution. The public hospital service is accessible to all, especially the poor and, in an emergency, to persons without social security coverage. It is also adapted to disabled people.
- Healthcare institutions must guarantee the quality of reception, treatment and care. They must be attentive to pain relief and make every effort to ensure everyone is treated with dignity, particularly at the end of life.
- Information given to patients must be accessible and reliable. Hospitalised patients shall participate in treatment decisions concerning them. They may be assisted by a trusted person chosen freely by them.
- A medical procedure can only be performed with the free and informed consent of the patient, who has the right to refuse all treatment. Any adult can express their wishes regarding end of life in advance directives.
- Specific consent is needed for patients participating in biomedical research, the donation and use of parts and products of the human body and for screening procedures.
- Patients who are asked to participate in biomedical research must be informed of the expected benefits and foreseeable risks. Their consent must be given in writing. Their refusal will not have any effect on the quality of care they receive.
- Unless otherwise provided by law, hospitalised patients can leave the establishment at any time after being informed of any risks they may incur.
- Hospitalised patients must be treated with consideration. Their beliefs must be respected. They must be ensured privacy and peace and quiet.
- Respect of privacy must be guaranteed to every patient, as well as the confidentiality of personal, administrative, medical and social information concerning them.
- Hospitalised patients (or their legal representatives) shall have direct access to health information concerning them. Under certain conditions, in the event of death, their beneficiaries shall have the same right.
- Hospitalised patients may express their views on the quality of care and reception provided. In each institution, a commission for relations with users and quality of care shall ensure that the rights of users are respected. Every patient has the right to be heard by a manager of the institution, to express their grievances and request compensation for harm to which they believe they have been subjected, within the context of an amicable settlement procedure for disputes and/or before the courts.
Circular no. DHOS/E1/DGS/SD1B/SD1C/SD4A/2006/90 of 2 March 2006 relative to the rights of hospitalised patients and including a hospitalised patients’ charter.
Full version of The Hospital Patient’s Bill of Rights
General principles in foreign languages