Rights and Obligations of Patients

Basic legal regulations

They result from the basic law – the Constitution of 2 April 1997 (Journal of Laws No. 78, item 483) and the following acts:

• of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds (Journal of Laws of 2006.164.1027, as amended)
• dated 15 April 2011 on medical activity (Journal of Laws of 20133.217 consolidated version)
• of 19 August 1994 on the protection of mental health (Journal of Laws of 2011.231.1375, as amended)
• from July 1, 2005 on the collection, storage and transplantation of cells, tissues and organs (Journal of Laws No. 169, PO 1411)
• of 15 July 2011 on the occupations of a nurse and midwife (Journal of Laws of 1914.1435 consolidated version)
• of 5 December 1996 on the professions of physician and dentist (unified text Journal of Laws 227.1634, as amended)
• Patient Rights and Patient Rights Ombudsman of 6 November 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2001.159, as amended)

I. Patient rights resulting from the direct application of the provisions of the Constitution

• Everyone has the right to health – Art. 68 sec. 1.
• Every citizen has the right to equal access to publicly-funded health care services, under the conditions and within the scope of the Act – Art. 68 sec. 2.

II. The rights of the patient, as defined by the Patient Rights Act and the Patient Rights Ombudsman

• Patient’s right to health care
• Patient’s right to information
• Patient’s right to the confidentiality of information associated with it
• Patient’s right to consent to health care
• Right to respect the intimacy and dignity of the patient
• Patient law for medical records
• Patient’s right to object to an opinion or a doctor’s decision
• Patient’s right to respect for privacy and family life
• Patient’s right to pastoral care
• Patient’s right to store valuables on deposit
Patients’ rights advocates, hereinafter referred to as “the Ombudsman”, are established in order to protect the rights of the patient defined in the law and in separate provisions. The Ombudsman is the central government body responsible for protecting the rights of patients as defined in the law and in separate regulations. The President of the Council of Ministers supervises the Ombudsman’s activities. The Ombudsman performs his / her tasks with the help of the Patient Rights Commissioner’s Office, hereinafter referred to as “the Office”.
Office of the Patient Rights Commissioner. www.bpp.gov.pl
address: ul. Aleja Zjednoczenia 25 Warszawa
00-829 tel./fax: (0-22) 831 42 81 ext. 364
Free hotline: 0-800-190-590 (from 9am to 9pm).
Office open: Monday – Friday. 8.15 am- 04.15 pm.
Reception of guests: Monday-Friday. 9.00 am – 03.00pm;
The lawyer of the office accepts: Monday- Friday 9.00am – 03.00 pm

III. Patient rights set forth in the 1996 Dentist and Dentist Professions Act.

The patient has the right to:
1. Provide him with the medical care, according to the indications of current medical knowledge, available to the physician methods and means of prevention, recognition of treatment of diseases, in accordance with the principles of professional ethics and with due care – Art. 4
2. Obtaining medical attention from a physician whenever a delay in delivery could result in danger of loss of life, serious injury or serious illnes, and other cases not suffering from delay – Art. 30,
3. obtain from the doctor clear information about his / her state of health, diagnosis, proposed and possible diagnostic, therapeutic, foreseeable consequences of their use or abandonment, results of treatment and prognosis – art. 31 sec. 1
4. ask the physician for information about his / her condition and prognosis when he / she believes that the doctor restricts him / her because of his or her well-being – Art. 31 sec. 4
5. Decide on the person to whom the doctor can provide information – Art. 31 sec. 2
6. requesting the physician not to give him/her the information referred to in point 3 – Art. 31 sec. 3
7. not agreeing to carry out a medical examination or give another medical treatment – Art. 32 sec. 1
8. expressing consent or refusal to perform surgery or applying therapeutic or diagnostic methods that present an increased risk; in order for the patient to make a decision, the physician must provide him/her with the information referred to in paragraph 1. 1 – Art. 34 sec. 1 and 2,
9. obtain from the physician information, if during the course of the treatment or in the application of a particular method of treatment or diagnosis, due to occurrence of circumstances endangering the life or health of the patient, the physician has made changes to them – Art. 35 sec. 2
10. respect for his/her intimacy and personal dignity – Art. 36 sec. 1
11. requesting a physician to seek the opinion of the appropriate specialist physician or arrange a medical consignment – Art. 37,12. sufficiently prior notice to the physician of its intention to withdraw from treatment and to indicate to him or her the possibility of obtaining a specific health benefit from another doctor or health care facility – Art. 38, 2,
13. preserving the confidentiality of information related to it and obtained by a physician in connection with the exercise of the profession – Art. 40, 1,
14. obtain from the physician information about adverse effects, if consent is given to disclose information concerning him/her, held by a physician – Art. 40 sec. 4
15. consent or refusal to publish information to the public to identify the patient – Art. 40 sec. 4

In addition, the patient who is to undergo a medical treatment has the right to:

1. consent or refusal to participate in a medical treatment after having informed the physician of the objectives, methods and conditions of the treatment, the expected therapeutic or cognitive benefits, the risks and the possibility of withdrawing consent and withdrawing from participation in the experiment at any stage of the treatment; . 24 sec. 1, Art. 25 sec. 1 and Art. 27 sec. 1
2. Inform the physician of the danger to your health and life that may cause an immediate discontinuation of the treatment – Art. 24 sec. 2
3. withdrawal of consent for medical treatment at every stage of the – Art. 27 sec. 1

IV. Patient rights as defined by the Nursing and Midwifery Act 1996.

The patient has the right to:
1. to give her health care by a nurse, a midwife who has the right to practice, according to current medical knowledge, the methods and means available to her, in accordance with the principles of professional ethics and with great care – Art. 11
2. assisted by a nurse, midwife, in accordance with her qualifications, in any case the danger of loss of life or serious damage to her health – Art. 12
3. obtain from the nurse, midwife information about her rights – Art. 16 section 1
4. obtain from the nurse, midwife information about her state of health, in relation to the nurse, midwife, nursing care – Art. 16 sec. 2
5. confidentiality of information related to it, and obtained by a nurse, midwife in the exercise of the profession – Art. 17 sec. 1
6. agreeing or refusing to give the nurse, the midwife, publicly available patient identification data – art. 17 sec. 2 pt 3.

V. Patient rights set forth in the 1994 Mental Health Act.

Patients with mental disorders, mental illness or mental retardation have the right to:
1. free health services provided to him/her by public mental health care institutions – Art. 10 sec. 1
2. free medicines and sanitary facilities, accommodation and meals if staying in a mental hospital as a public health care facility – Art. 10 sec. 2
3. provide him/her with a kind of medical treatment not only for health purposes but also for the sake of his/her interests and other personal well-being, and seeking to improve his/her health in a way which is least onerous for the patient – Art. 12
4. communicate without restriction with family and other people, when in a psychiatric hospital or at a social welfare home – Art. 13
5. Request for periodic stay outside the hospital without leaving the institution – Art. 14
6. inform the doctor about his/her intention to apply direct coercion – Art. 18 sec. 8; The admission of this measure to the patient must result from the Act – Art. 18
7. inform about the intention to conduct a psychiatric examination without his or her consent and the reasons for such a decision; This study may be conducted if the patient’s behavior indicates that a mental disorder may threaten directly his or her own life or life or health of others, or is unable to meet basic life needs – Art. 21 sec. 1 and 2,
8. consent or refusal to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, except when the provisions of the Act allow admission to a psychiatric hospital without the consent of the patient – Art. 22 sec. 1 and Art. 23, 24 and 29,
9. Inform and explain to the doctor the reason for the admission to the psychiatric hospital if he/she did not consent and obtain information about his/her rights in this situation – Art. 23 sec. 3
10. withdrawal of prior consent for admission to a psychiatric hospital – Art. 28
11. necessary medical treatment to remove the reason for taking him/her to hospital without his/her consent and familiarizing him/her with the planned medical treatment – Art. 33 sec. 1 and 2,
12. Discharge from a psychiatric hospital if he/she is staying in the hospital without consent if the reasons for his / her stay and his / her stay in a psychiatric hospital are not met without such consent – Art. 35 sec. 1
13. remain in the hospital in the situation referred to in point 17 for his later consent, if in the opinion of the doctor, his further stay at this hospital is intentional – art. 35 sec. 2
14. Submitting, in any form, a request for an order to be discharged from a psychiatric hospital – Art. 36 sec. 1
15. petition to the Court of caring for the discharge from a psychiatric hospital, after the refusal to discharge from the hospital upon request – Art. 36 sec. 3
16. Apply for the appointment of a curator if you are in need of help in the psychiatric hospital to carry out all your affairs or matters of a particular type – Art. 44 sec. 1, and has the right to have the persons performing the acts of the Act keep secret all that concerns him/her, and to which the message was made by carrying out the activities resulting from the act- Art. 50 sec. 1.

VI. Patient rights set forth in the 2005 Law on the Collection and Transplantation of Cells, Tissues and Organ.

The patient has the right to:
1. express and withdraw at any time opposition to the collection after the death of cells, tissues and organs – Art. 5 sec. Articles 1-4, Article 7, paragraphs 1-7;
2. the protection of personal data concerning the donor / transplant recipient and their secrecy – art. 19 sec. 1.
3. Persons awaiting transplantation of bone marrow, cells or organs shall be referred to the national list of persons awaiting transplantation, hereinafter referred to as the “list”. – art. 17.ust.1.