PRAVNI ZAPISI • Year IV • No. 1 • pp. 145-168
‘INNOCENCE WITHOUT PROTECTION’ OR ONE PERSPECTIVE ON THE LAW ON PATIENTS’ RIGHTS
Doc. dr Simić Jelena
Docentkinja, Pravni fakultet Univerziteta Union u Beogradu
Pravni zapisi, No. 1/2013, pp. 145-168
patients’ rights; patients’ duties; patients’ advisor for the protection of patients’ rights; the Council of Health
In this paper, the author has given the critical review of the solutions contained in the Law on Patients’ Rights which was adopted on May 22nd, 2013, and has come into force on May 30th, 2013. The first part of the paper deals with the rights of patients that a lawmaker prescribes for the first time: the right to preventive measures, the right to quality health services, the right to patient safety, the right to a second professional opinion, the right of a child in hospitals, the right of patients to leave hospital on their own responsibility and the right of patients to have their sufferings and pain relieved. The second part of the paper focuses on the provisions related to the mechanisms for protection of patients’ rights, as the most important novelties of this Law. The author believes that even though the Law has offered a wide range of patients’ rights in accordance with the international standards of protection of patients, a total of 19, the patients are still left without the adequate protection mechanism. The special attention needs to be paid to the Advisor for protection of patients’ rights and to the Health Council which has been given the role of ‘protector’ of the patients’ rights by this Law. Nevertheless, according to the author, they will only be the witnesses to the violation of the patients’ rights, without the possibility and entitlement to change anything. Due to that, the patients will seek the protection at other places, primarily through the court proceedings instead of addressing these authorities. The author believes that even though the Law was adopted, the work needs to be continued, the enforcement of the Law cautiously controlled and the deficiencies, which will undoubtedly appear, be duly removed.