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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887


LEON C, Francisco Javier. The law of rights and duties of persons in health care from the viewpoint of bioethics. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.11, pp.1490-1494. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The enactment of Law 20.584 in April of 2012 promotes a change in the physician-patient relationship, with recognition of people's rights and duties in healthcare by all the health professional and entities. The legal obligation, and not only the ethical one, as it currently happens, for humane treatment and regard for the dignity of the sick, informed consent, medical data confidentiality, the possibility to reject treatments, etc., is established. This review analyzes the contents of this law, especially those parts affecting physicians. It exposes its limitations, especially those related to minors' consent, living wills and research in people with mental disabilities. It also highlights positive aspects such as the promotion of a humane healthcare. This Law begins to consider patients' autonomy shyly. However, from a bioethical viewpoint, there are still many issues to be perfected such as healthcare humanization, excellence of patient care, healthcare quality and medical professionalism, considering competence, social service, charity and solidarity. It is a first step that must be supplemented with a greater development of medical deontology, and the development of clinical and institutional bioethics.

Palavras-chave : Bioethics; Delivery of health care; Ethics committees; Informed consent; Patient's rights.

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