Know Your Medical and Eye Care Rights and Maximize Your Health
You have specific rights concerning your health and the health of your eyes. It is important to know and understand these rights so that you can protect yourself and your family. Your vision is important and learning what you are entitled to as you receive care will help you to protect your vision. Many people do not know or understand their rights. Remember your rights will vary depending on where you live, so it is important to carefully understand the rights that you are afforded by the country that you reside in.
What are my medical rights (USA)?
As a patient you have specific rights and responsibilities. This is true both when working with medical doctors and when working with eye care doctors. You should know that you have the right to be informed of what is going on. Donít just stand by and let your eye doctor perform procedures without knowing what is happening. This is especially important when you are receiving treatment for serious diseases or eye problems since your lifelong vision can depend on the care that you receive. You have the right to know what is happening, what the possible outcomes are and what the side effects are of medications. This right is called informed consent and it entitles you to know and understand a procedure before it happens. If you arenít comfortable or if you donít understand it is your responsibility to speak up and to ask questions until you do.
Remember that when you sign a consent form before a procedure you are giving your consent. Make sure that you read this form even if you donít think that it is important. Read the entire form and make sure that you understand it before you sign it and give your consent. Donít be afraid to ask questions about your eyes and your eye health. You are responsible for protecting your vision and you need information and answers to questions to make informed choices.
Before consenting to any procedures, treatments or medications make sure that you understand both the risks and the benefits. For example if you are going to receive surgery on your eyes it is important to know what the procedure will entail, why the procedure is needed and what risks you are taking by undergoing the procedure. You can ask questions like, ďCould this procedure cause me to lose my vision?Ē and, ďWhat will happen if I donít have the surgery?Ē Also ask about other options or alternative treatments. There is often more than one way to solve a problem and you can make a better decision about the treatment that is right for you if you understand all of your options.
Cost can also play an important factor in your decision, especially if your insurance policy wonít be covering a specific procedure. Before you sit down in the doctorís chair or make an eye appointment ask what the final cost will be and what you can expect your insurance to pay. This way you wonít be surprised when a bill arrives in the mail.
Employment eye care rights
Additionally you may be entitled to other eye health care by your employer. This can vary by where you live. For example workers in the UK can receive a free eye test paid for by their employer if they use a computer screen or electronic cash register at work. This free testing is a wonderful benefit to these UK employees many of whom do not even realize that they are entitled to this benefit. Most UK employees that did request the complimentary eye testing found their employer to be enthusiastic and supportive of their request.
Understanding your rights will help you to better protect your eyes and your vision. Find out if your employer offers free eye testing or if you are legally entitled to benefits such as this. When you do go in for an eye exam or procedure make sure that you ask questions and that you are comfortable with the level of care that you are receiving. If you donít look out for your vision, no one else will. Protect your eyes and your ability to see by learning about your rights and then using them.
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