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This blog is based on an opinion column recently submitted by the authors to the British Journal of Nursing and a contribution to the Bill of Health, blog of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School.

The word “right” has impact, it is a forceful word, and in everyday language bears a simple, understandable meaning. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have anchored the word to global patient safety development efforts in the form of a Patient Safety Rights Charter.

Patient rights are outlined in the safety context which the Charter promotes. Stakeholders are encouraged to develop suitable policies, laws, regulations, and governance regulatory frameworks to advance these. The Charter states:

“Patient safety represents a tangible manifestation of realizing health-related human rights and is a litmus test of the global commitment towards respecting, protecting and fulfilling those rights” (p.5).

Ten patient safety rights are identified in the Charter.  Read full article...