Pacientų pareigų katalogas Lietuvoje: teisinė turinio analizė
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Lithuania was one of the first states in Europe to approve a comprehensive list of patients’ duties under a special Law on the Rights of Patients of 2010. The approval of the catalogue of patients’ duties at the level of a law is based on the restatement of the principle of equal rights of the parties participating in health care relations, and the prevention of consumerism in these relations. The paper distinguishes between general and special patients’ duties. The general duties include the duty to exercise the patient’s rights in good faith, the ban to abuse them, the duties of cooperation and looking after one’s health, as well as the duty of treatment with due respect. The norms that entrench duties of ethical nature should serve to prevent any inappropriate behaviour of patients in health care institutions. Nevertheless, legal application of these provisions and proving the infringements in practice is likely to be complicated. The special duties include: the duty to familiarise oneself against signature with the internal regulations of the health care institution as presented to him or her, other documents prescribed by the health care institution; the duty to present the documents confirming identity; the duty upon receiving information about the health care services prescribed for him or her to confirm in writing his or her consent or refusal with regard to the provision of such health care services in the cases specified by the law; the duty to provide health care professionals with any information about one’s health, to follow the prescriptions and recommendations of health care professionals, to inform health care professionals about any deviations from the prescriptions or the prescribed treatment regime which he or she has accepted. The legal analysis of the contents of the duties has revealed certain unsubstantial obscurities. The analysis of the provision that enables to take sanctions against the patient infringing their duties has revealed that the health care institution may only terminate provision of health care services to the patient if one of the two alternative conditions is fulfilled. I.e. if a person violates his or her duties and thereby causes danger to their own and other patients’ health and life, or prevents them from receiving high quality health care services. The conclusions show that application of this provision may be problematic: first, due to the juridical technique of the wording of the norm; second – due to complicated substantiating that the patient prevented or prevents other patients from receiving high quality health care services; third – due to the conflict of this provision with the provision of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Medical Practice, which provides that a doctor may refuse provision of health care services in cases of real threat to his or her own life; and fourth – the norm does not provide for the right to terminate the provision of services in cases of threat to health and/or life of health care workers (non-specialists).
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