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Journal 2 - Essay Example

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As such, this paper will summarize the article, “Patients Rights and the National Health Service in Britain, 1960s-1980s” in the context of public affairs. The article…
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Journal 2
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Patients Rights and the National Health Service in Britain, 1960s-1980s The study on patient’s rights and the National Health Service in Britain is amatter of public concern. As such, this paper will summarize the article, “Patients Rights and the National Health Service in Britain, 1960s-1980s” in the context of public affairs. The article confirms that that there have been public debates about health care in Britain relating to patients rights achieved especially in the latter half of the 20th century. The article draws the origin of this debate to the end of the 1980s, when it gained footage in many areas of the National Health Service. Because of the debates, patient’s rights that included consent to treatment, access to information, and the ability to complain came to application under the law1. However, it took the continued effort of the Patient organizations to advocate for these rights, their realization, in popularizing their discourse in the National Health Service in Britain. The article recognizes that there were various challenges towards the realization and implementation of these patients’ rights. As such, the idea of patients having rights in relation to health care is debatable. Indeed, both supporters and detractors of the National Health Service in Britain use the patient’s rights to argue their positions. The entailed patient’s rights involves the right to access to health services, confidentiality, consent, involvement in their own health care, quality of care and the environment. They also involve right to air complaints and get feedbacks. Moreover, the introduction of the NHS Constitution significantly developed the British health care and promoted the patients’ rights. In addition, organizations like the Patients Association, the Community Health Councils, and the Consumers Association among others advocated for patient’s rights from as early as the 1960s2. The article stipulates that the language of rights has since evolved and attracted diverse applications in the 1970s and 1980s.
Furthermore, in the 20th Century, there have been distinct, but overlapping, visions of health rights. These rights include health as a human right, as a citizens’ right, and as a consumers right. However, in Britain, these rights attracted no contradictions between the state and citizen. Indeed, in 1948, the United Nations made a universal declaration of human rights contemplating the right to health on a global level. In fact, health forms part of the development goals in many nations since the 1980s with an aim of tackling epidemics. However, in Britain, the government focused more on the rights of citizens rather the rights discourse. At the same time, the article states that there have been questions patient consumer organizations to influence health policy and practice even when the language of patients rights remained within the control of these groups. Indeed, these organizations proposed fragile and dubious laws on the patient’s rights. More so, the organizations did not provide a comprehensive list of the rights and there is no specific law that deals with patient’s rights. Indeed, the rights spread around distinct Acts of Parliament and secondary pieces of legislation while some has no reference. Notably, even the Patients’ Rights Bill did not pass in parliament due to poor drafting and the ministers’ view on the bill as unsuitable subject for legislation3. Nevertheless, patients groups are still pressing on to have formal rights for patients. Most importantly is the fact that the right to complain was in application. Indeed, patients could address their complaint against general practitioners to the Executive Councils where the local Medical Service Committee makes the final jury on such complaints.
Mold, Alex. 2012. Patients rights and the National Health Service in Britain, 1960s-1980s. American Journal of Public Health102, no. 11: 2030-2038, Read More
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