eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
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vol. 8
Original paper

The patient’s right to privacy and respect for dignity. Part II

Rafał Kubiak

Medycyna Paliatywna 2016; 8(4): 173–181
Online publish date: 2017/03/07
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Human dignity is the greatest humanistic value, which in Polish law is assigned with basic meaning. Respect of dignity is particularly important in case of ill persons. Subjecting them to health benefits, often in closed treatment conditions, may in fact lead to a breach of this value. Moreover, due to the condition of these patients, sometimes they cannot adequately protect themselves against violation of their dignity. Therefore, a lot of attention is devoted to these problems in medical-legal regulations. Respect of dignity is based on a subjective treatment of the patient as an equal human being. This article presents proper way of dealing with the patient, so as not to violate their dignity in both the intellectual and physical activities. Particular attention was paid to the behavioral pattern towards mortally ill and dying persons. Their difficult situation causes occurrence of exceptional needs in the sphere of their dignity. Issues of respect for human corpses were discussed separately as well. The last part of the paper presents the legal consequences that may occur in the event of violations of the right to privacy and respect of dignity. Doing so may justify pursue of civil claims, mainly due to the violation of personal interest. Some of such behaviour infringing discussed goods can deplete the attributes of a prohibited act, especially against honor and bodily inviolability, as well as lead to criminal liability for disclosure of physician’s medical secret.

patient rights, privacy, dignity, doctor’s duties

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