Patient’s Bill of Rights

As a person facing the end of my life, I have the right to:

  • Be treated as a living human being until I die.
  • Live free of pain.
  • Participate in the decisions that affect my quality of life and me.
  • Have my decisions and choices respected and followed, even though they may be contrary to the wishes of others.
  • Be treated with openness and honesty without deception or half-truths.
  • Receive ongoing medical and nursing care even though the goals will be changed from cure to comfort.
  • Express my feelings and emotions about my approaching death in my own way
  • Maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing its focus may be.
  • Be cared for by those who can maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing its focus may be.
  • Discuss and enlarge my spiritual and religious experiences, regardless of what they mean to others.
  • Be cared for by compassionate, sensitive, and knowledgeable people who will attempt to understand my needs and try to meet them.
  • Receive support from and for my loved ones in learning how to accept my death.
  • Die in peace and with dignity.

Further links for people nearing death:

Helping Yourself Live When You Are Dying

Helping Yourself Live When You Are Seriously Ill

Dealing With a Terminal Illness