You are entitled to the best possible healthcare and care providers use the necessary medical knowledge and available technology to enable this.
They respect everyone's dignity and right to self-determination, regardless of nationality, social class, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Care that aims to prevent, treat and alleviate physical and mental pain are an integral part of the treatment.
Free choice of professional practitioner
You are free to choose your care provider and are entitled to consult one or more different care providers about the same problem at any time.
The free choice can be limited by legal reasons or the organisation's particular circumstances (e.g. if there's only one specialist in the hospital).
Every practitioner is also entitled to discontinue the treatment – for personal or professional reasons – except in the case of need. If the practitioner interrupts the treatment, he has to refer you so that the continuity of your care is guaranteed. You can request a copy of your medical record to be sent to the new care provider.
You are entitled to see all information that is required to gain insights into your state of health (with regard to the diagnosis, even if this is negative) and its suspected evolution. The practitioner explains to you what action is desired as a result. The care provider shares this information with you verbally and in understandable language.
If not sharing the information has a serious disadvantage for your health or for that of a third party (e.g. a contagious disease), then the practitioner does not need to adhere to this 'request by the patient to not know'. In this case, they must first consult another professional practitioner and possibly consult the designated trusted person.
You are entitled to be informed in advance of giving consent for any intervention by the practitioner. This information is provided at an appropriate time and in language that the patient understands. This does not mean that the care provider must ask for explicit consent for every action (e.g. taking blood, measuring blood pressure, etc.), because the care provider can derive permission from your actions (e.g. you make your arm available for taking blood).
If you agree to a treatment, you agree in principle to every part of that treatment.
In emergency situations, when it's impossible to ascertain the will of the patient or their representative, the practitioner performs all the necessary interventions, while respecting any prior declaration of intention.
You are also entitled to find out if the practitioner is insured and authorised to carry out their practice.
Access to the patient record
You are entitled to have your patient record carefully updated and securely stored.
You can ask your doctor if you want to have a look at your patient record.
You can also ask for a printout of the patient record. You, your representative or trusted person must fill in the appropriate form for this. You then send the completed form to the medical director, who forwards the request to the doctor in charge.
Only the care providers involved or required for your examination or treatment may be present. The information relating to your state of health may not be shared with third parties, except in the case of legal deviation and if this is required for the protection of public health or the rights of others.
If you believe that a patient right is not being respected, you can contact the National MS Centre's ombudsman service. The ombudsman service listens, provides information and mediates to aid the communication and repair the breach of trust between you and the care provider.
You are entitled to pain relief. Care providers must pay attention to pain, evaluate the pain situation, and treat and alleviate the pain.
A trusted person stands alongside the patient.
A representative acts on behalf of the patient.
Example forms for designating a trusted person or representative are added as an appendix to the information brochures which can be found in all the folder cabinets at the National MS Centre.
You will find more information at www.patientrights.be