Know Your Rights and Responsibilities 

What are my rights regarding my healthcare?
What are my responsibilities regarding my healthcare?

What are my rights regarding my healthcare?

You have a right to:

  • Speak up about your needs as well as what you think and what you want
  • Politely correct someone if they say something incorrect about you
  • Prevent unwelcome people in your medical care; this includes when you are in the doctor’s office or in your hospital room, as well as access to your medical records. If you desire anyone to have access to your medical records, choose someone you trust. However, it is your right, at age thirteen, to not allow anyone to view your medical records
  • Decide what doctors you want to see and if you are not comfortable/happy with a certain medical professional you may choose to change to a different professional
  • Decide what treatment and procedure options you want to pursue, if necessary
  • See another doctor to get a second opinion; however, check to be sure they are in net-work
  • Ask questions! Any questions about your healthcare are valid. Here are some good questions to ask (if they apply to your care):
    • What is that test for and why do I need it?
    • What is the number of times you have performed this procedure?
    • How long will it take until I get my results?
    • How do you think this treatment will help me or benefit me?
    • How do you think this medication will benefit me?
    • Is there an alternative treatment? 
    • Is there an alternative medication?
    • Are there any possible complications?
    • Which hospital do you recommend for my needs?
    • Can you spell that medication name?
    • Does that medication have any side effects?
    • Could that new medication have any interactions with my current medications?
    • How much will that cost me?
      • How much will that medication cost me?
      • How much will that procedure cost me?
      • How much will ______________ cost me?

What are my responsibilities regarding my healthcare?

If you want to be independent, you first need to understand what it is to be responsible for managing your own healthcare. Here are some of the responsibilities with which you will need to become comfortable if you are to become a leader in your own healthcare:

  • Make sure you understand your healthcare and your medical needs to the best of your ability
  • You need to create a care plan that works best for you
  • You must learn how to keep track of your medications, medical supplies and doctors appointments
  • Make an appointment when you think there’s an issue with your health or you have questions
  • If you utilize medical supplies, you must keep track of when you need to order them and when they should arrive 
    • If your medical supplies do not arrive or the order arrives but is damaged or not a complete order, you must contact your medical supply company the day they were supposed to arrive/they arrived to get the mistake fixed.
  • If you take medications:
    • For your safety, you need to keep track of how much and how often you take your medications
    • Know when, how much, what types to order
    • Know what is covered by your insurance by calling your insurance provider and asking questions
    • If you have questions, seek an advocate to get the help you need