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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Adapted from the American College Health Association Committee on Standards for College Health


Widener University Student Health Services recognizes the basic human rights of patients and encourages patients to assume responsibility for their own welfare. This health service includes the following characteristics:

Patients are treated with respect, consideration, and dignity.

Patients are provided appropriate privacy, including protection from access to their confidential information by faculty, by non health service staff who are not responsible for direct health care, and by other students working at health services that are not trained or qualified to provide care.

Patient disclosures and records are treated confidentially. Patients are given the authority to approve or refuse their release in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.

Patients are provided, to the degree known, information concerning their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. When concern for a patient’s health makes it inadvisable to give such information, it is provided to a person designated by the patient or to a legally authorized person.

Patients are given the opportunity to participate in decisions involving their health care, whenever possible.

Information is available to patients and staff concerning:

  • Policy on the rights and responsibilities of patients.
  • Eligibility of patients for services, defining services covered by prepaid fees and those requiring additional fees.
  • Services available at the organization and how to use them.
  • Provisions for after-hours and emergency care and how to use them appropriately.
  • Conduct and responsibilities of patients, including the consequences of refusing treatment or not complying with therapy.
  • Payment policies and fees for service.
  • Patients’ rights to refuse to participate in experimental research.
  • Methods for expressing grievances and suggestions to the university health services.
  • Policy on treatment of an unemancipated minor not accompanied by an adult, consistent with applicable federal and state regulations.

Patients have a right to competent, humane treatment, with appropriate respect for their opinions and beliefs in the process of receiving health care.

Patients are informed of their right to change primary or specialty health care providers if other qualified health care providers are available.

Patients have the right not to be misled by marketing or advertising regarding the competence and capabilities of the university health service’s staff.

Patients are responsible to give the health care provider complete and full information on their health status, and to cooperate in treatment planning and follow-up. Responsibilities include asking questions of the health care providers, making use of available information and education concerning their own health, and showing the same respect for the health care personnel as they expect to receive.

Patients are responsible to use identified methods of expressing grievances and suggestions, whenever indicated, rather than remaining silent in order to assist the university health service in improving the quality of health care and education services.