Patient’s Bill of Rights in Iran

The vision and value of each member of society is committed to preserving and respecting the dignity of human beings. According to the constitution, paying attention to human dignity is one of the basic principles of the Islamic Republic system, and the government is obliged to provide healthcare services for every person in the country. Based on this, the provision of health services should be fair and based on respect for the rights and human dignity of patients.

This charter has been prepared according to the high human values based on Islamic and Iranian culture and the equality of inherent dignity of all recipients of health services and to maintain, promote, and strengthen the human relationship between providers and recipients of health services.

Patient rights

1- Receiving optimal health services is the patient’s right.

The provision of health services must:

1-1) be worthy of human dignity and concerning values, cultural and religious beliefs;

2-1) Be based on honesty, fairness, politeness, and kindness;

1-3) be free from any discrimination, including ethnic, cultural, religious, type of disease, and gender;

4-1) be based on current knowledge;

5-1) be based on the superiority of the patient’s interests;

6-1) regarding the distribution of health resources based on justice and treatment priorities of patients;

1-7) It should be based on the coordination of the elements of care including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation;

8-1) along with the provision of all basic and necessary amenities and away from imposing pain and suffering and unnecessary restrictions;

1-9) Paying special attention to the rights of vulnerable groups in society, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, mental patients, prisoners,

have mental and physical disabilities and people without guardians;

10-1) as soon as possible and concerning the patient’s time;

1-11) considering variables such as language, age, and gender of service recipients;

12-1) In urgent and necessary care (emergency), it should be done regardless of its cost. In non-urgent (elective) cases, it should be based on defined criteria;

13-1) In urgent and necessary care (emergency), if it is not possible to provide appropriate services, it is necessary to provide the necessary services and explanations to transfer the patient to an equipped unit;

1-14) In the final stages of life, when the condition of the disease is irreversible and the death of the patient is imminent, it should be provided to maintain his comfort. Comfort means reducing the patient’s pain and suffering, and paying attention to the psychological, social, spiritual, and emotional needs of him and his family at the time of death. The dying patient has the right to be with the person he wants in the last moments of his life.

2. The information should be provided to the patient in a good and sufficient way.

1-2) The content of the information should include the following:

1-2-1) Provisions of the patient’s bill of rights at the time of admission;

2-1-2 2) Predictable criteria and costs of the hospital, including medical and non-medical services, insurance criteria, and introduction of support systems at the time of admission;

3-1-2-3) The name, responsibility, and professional rank of the members of the medical group responsible for providing care, including doctors, nurses, and students, and their professional relationship with each other;

1-2-4) Diagnostic and treatment methods and the strengths and weaknesses of each method and its possible complications, disease diagnosis, prognosis, and complications, as well as all the information influencing the patient’s decision-making process;

5-1-2-5) How to access the attending physician and the main members of the medical team during the treatment;

6-1-2-6) All actions that have a research nature.

7-1-2-7) providing necessary training for the continuation of treatment;

2-2) The way of providing information should be as follows:

2-2-1) The information should be provided at the appropriate time and according to the patient’s conditions, including anxiety and pain, and their characteristics, including language, education, and comprehension, unless:

– Delay in starting the treatment by providing the above information will cause harm to the patient; (In this case, the transfer of information should be done at the first appropriate time after necessary action.

– The patient, despite being informed of the right to receive information, refuses to do so, in which case the patient’s request must be respected unless the patient’s lack of information puts him or others at serious risk;

2-2-2 2) The patient can have access to all the information recorded in his clinical file receive its image and request the correction of the mistakes contained in it.

3- The patient’s right to freely choose and make decisions in receiving health services should be respected.

1-3) The range of selection and decision-making is about the following:

1-3-1) Selection of medical doctor and center providing health services within the framework of criteria;

2-1-3 2) Choosing and asking the opinion of the second doctor as a consultant;

3-1-3 3) Participation or non-participation in any kind of research, with the assurance that his decision will not affect the continuation and manner of receiving health services;

4-1-3) Accepting or rejecting proposed treatments after knowing the possible side effects of accepting or rejecting them, except in cases of suicide or cases where refusing treatment puts another person at serious risk;

5-1-3 5) Announcing the patient’s previous opinion about the future treatment measures when the patient has decision-making capacity, and recording it as a guide for medical measures when he lacks decision-making capacity, in compliance with the legal standards considered by health service providers and decision-making. The recipient should replace the patient.

2-3) The selection and decision-making conditions include the following:

2-3-1) The patient’s choice and decision-making should be free and informed, based on receiving sufficient and comprehensive information (mentioned in the second paragraph);

2-3-2 2) After providing the information, the necessary and sufficient time should be given to the patient to make a decision and choose.

4- The provision of health services should be based on respecting the patient’s privacy (right to privacy) and observing the principle of confidentiality.

1-4) Compliance with the principle of confidentiality regarding all information related to the patient is mandatory, except in cases where the law excludes it.


2-4) Patient privacy must be respected in all stages of care, including diagnostic and treatment. For this purpose, it is necessary to provide all necessary facilities to guarantee the patient’s privacy;

3-4) Only the patient and the treatment group and authorized persons on behalf of the patient and persons deemed authorized by the law can access the information;

4-4) The patient has the right to have a trusted person with him during the diagnostic process, including examinations. It is the child’s right to be accompanied by one of the child’s parents in all stages of treatment unless this is against medical necessity.

5- Access to an efficient complaint-handling system is a patient’s right.

5-1) Every patient has the right to receive without disturbing the quality of his rights in case of violation of his rights, which is the subject of this charter

Health services to complain to relevant authorities;

5-2) Patients have the right to be informed about the procedure and results of their complaint;

3-5) The damage caused by the error of the health service providers should be compensated in the shortest possible time after investigation and proof according to the regulations.

In implementing the provisions of this charter, if the patient lacks decision-making capacity for any reason, the exercise of all the patient’s rights – mentioned in this charter – will be the responsibility of alternative legal decision-making. Of course, if alternative decision-making contrary to the doctor’s opinion hinders the patient’s treatment, the doctor can appeal the decision through the relevant authorities. If a patient lacks sufficient capacity to make a decision but can make a reasonable decision in a part of the treatment process, his decision should be respected.​

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