Patient Rights Letter to Provider

{DATE}

 

Dear Dr._____________________

 

I have trusted you as my health care provider; however, I feel you may have violated my Right to Self Determination by denying my right to be given complete, accurate, and unbiased information regarding cannabis medicine, as it pertains to my condition.

 

This violates trust, compromises the sanctity of our doctor patient relationship, and renders me vulnerable to the influence of those who appear willing to give me accurate, unbiased information outside of your trusted care.

 

This may be in direct violation to the American Medical Associations, Principles of Medical Ethics as follows and Code of Medical Ethics provisions extracted below:

 

American Medical Associations, Principles of Medical Ethics

I. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.

 II. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.

 III. A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient.

 IV. A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.

 V. A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated.

 VI. A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care.

 VII. A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.

 VIII. A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.

 IX. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people.

 

Additionally, I have learned of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics and provide the following provisions,

Opinion 8.12 – Patient Information: It is a fundamental ethical requirement that a physician should at all times deal honestly and openly with patients. …. Only through full disclosure is a patient able to make informed decisions regarding future medical care. ….Concern regarding legal liability which might result following truthful disclosure should not affect the physician’s honesty with a patient.

Opinion 10.01 – The Fundamental Elements of the Patient – Physician Relationship

From ancient times, physicians have recognized that the health and well‐being of patients depends upon a collaborative effort between physician and patient. … Physicians can best contribute to this alliance by serving as their patients’ advocate and by fostering these rights:

(1) The patient has the right to receive information from physicians and to discuss the benefits, risks, and costs of appropriate treatment alternatives. Patients should receive guidance from their physicians as to the optimal course of action. .

 (2) The patient has the right to make decisions regarding the health care that is recommended by his or her physician. Accordingly, patients may accept or refuse any recommended medical treatment.

 (3) The patient has the right to courtesy, respect, dignity, responsiveness, and timely attention to his or her needs.

(5) The physician has an obligation to cooperate in the coordination of medically indicated care with other health care providers treating the patient. 

(6) The patient has a basic right to have available adequate health care... 

 

Additionally, the American Medical Association has addressed the medical use of cannabis and stated: “Our AMA believes that effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions.” H-95.952 Cannabis for Medicinal Use paragraph (4)

I understand a choice to deny me information or a recommendation as a long term patient is reportable to the medical board in this State and may carry other penalties. In Illinois for example, denial of patients rights is punishable by fine:

 

“Section 4. Violations. Any physician or health care provider that violates a patient’s rights as set forth in subparagraph (b) of Section 3 is guilty of a petty offense and shall be fined $500. Any insurance company or health service corporation that violates a patient’s rights as set forth in subparagraph (c) of Section 3 is guilty of a petty offense and shall be fined $1,000. Any physician, health care provider, health services corporation or insurance company that violates a patient’s rights as set forth in subsection (d) of Section 3 is guilty of a petty offense and shall be fined $1,000”. Ill COMP STAT § 4 : Illinois Statute, 410 ILCS 50/4) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 5404)

(Source: P.A. 92651, eff. 71102.) – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/ilstatutes/410/50/4#sthash.QBx3KToC.sG7ffien.dpuf

 

Please consider the consequences of your actions however unintentional. If your are concerned about the failure of the FDA to approve use of cannabis for you condition, I will sign a waiver releasing you from all liability. If a perceived lack of scientific studies is your concern you can find information can be found at: _____________________________ and ___________________.

I choose to learn more about cannabis for the treatment of my condition as is my right.

 

I ask you to reconsider and demonstrate your compassion for the pain and suffering I endure before you deny or discourage my right to information or recommendation for cannabis medicine.

 

Thank you for your understanding and compassion in this matter.

 

Regards,

 

 

Your patient

(Name, Address and phone)

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