Rights of Patients: Comparative Perspectives From Five Countries
Blum, John D.
Medicine and Law 2003; 22(3): 451-471
Recognition and articulation of patient rights are core issues in the medical jurisprudence of most nations. While the nature of rights in medical care may vary from country to country, reflecting the idiosyncrasies of domestic law and health delivery, there are commonalities in this area of law that cut across borders. This paper presents five case studies in the patient rights area from Malaysia, Ireland, South Africa, Indonesia and the United States, respectively. The case discussions range from ongoing and fundamental concerns over broad patient rights issues, such as access to health care and informed consent, to rights concerns of those suffering from HIV/AIDS, to a novel consideration over ethical and legal issues concerning ownership of infant organs. It is the hope of the authors that individually, and collectively, the cases will provide helpful insights into this core area of medical law.
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