Patient’s Rights

The Twelve Principles

The Twelve Principles Of the Patient’s Rights Law


  • The Knesset enacted the Patient’s Rights Law on May 1st, 1996. Its objective is to regulate the relationship between people who require medical treatment and members of the medical staff who provide it.
  • The law has established norms and codes of conduct concerning patients’ rights, in a binding way on all those practicing medicine.
  • The medical staff and the patient are partners in the medical treatment process. The law is based on the assumption that the patient is a cognitive person capable to demand his right to proper medical care.
  • The opening paragraph of the law states: “This Act aims to establish the rights of every person
  • who requests medical care or who is in receipt of medical care, and to protect his dignity and privacy”.
  • The Society for Patient’s Rights in Israel has prepared this leaflet in order to bring to the notice
  • of the public the principles and essence of the Patients’ Rights Law.

Israeli Ministry of Health in 2008, published in a compact form to share a set of basic rules governing the rights of any person in the territory of Israel and in need of medical care:

The Principles

1. The Right to Medical Care
The right to receive medical treatment is assured to all. Neither the medical facility nor the
clinician administering the treatment may discriminate between patients on grounds of religion, race, sex,
nationality, origin etc. Medical treatment should be provided according to existing terms and arrangements
in the medical system in Israel.
In case of medical emergency – the patient will receive treatment without any pre-condition.

2. Proper Medical Care
The patient is entitled to proper medical care, which should be provided in the best professional
standards and quality. Proper personal relations should also be maintained.

3. Information on Clinician Identity
The patient is entitled to be know the name and professional task of every person giving

4. A Second Opinion
The patient is entitled to obtain, at his own initiative, a second opinion as to his medical care.
The clinician and the medical facility shall give the patient all the assistance he requires fulfilling this right.

5. Right to Continuity of Proper Care
In cases where a patient transfers from one clinician or facility to another, he is entitled, at his request, to the co-operation between the clinicians or facilities involved, to ensure proper c ontinuity of care.

6. The Dignity of the Patient
The dignity of the patient must be assured at all stages of the medical treatment.

7. The Privacy of the Patient
The privacy of the patient must be assured at all stages of his treatment.

8. Care under Emergency or Grave Danger
Whenever a person is in grave danger or in medical emergency, he is eligible unconditionally to receive
medical treatment. The clinician to whom he turns or is referred is obliged to examine and reat the patient to the best of his ability. Should the clinician be unable to do so, he shall
refer the patient to a facility that can provide the medical care that is required. If a patient is in grave danger and he refuses medical treatment, the clinician should administer
the required treatment even against the will of the patient. This can be done only after the Ethics
Committee has given its permission.

9. Informed Consent
No medical treatment shall be administered unless the patient has consented to it. Such consent
should be “informed consent”, based on all the data on the diagnosis, the nature of the proposed treatment, the risks involved (including pain and discomfort) and the chances and the risks of
alternative treatment or the lack of any treatment at all.
The clinician shall furnish the information to the patient at the earliest stage of the treatment in a
manner that maximizes the ability of the patient to understand the information and make a free
and independent choice.
The consent to medical treatment may be given verbally, in writing, or demonstrated by the
patient’s behavior.

10. The Right to Access to Medical Information
The patient is entitled to receive from his clinician or from the medical facility information
concerning him obtained from the medical records, including a copy of his medical records.
In cases where such information may cause serious harm to the patient’s health or endanger his
life, the clinician may decline to give the patient such information. The Ethics Committee may
endorse or change the clinician’s decision.

11. Medical Confidentiality
A clinician or any other staff member of a medical facility may not disclose any information
concerning a patient which came to their knowledge during their services or in the course of the

12. Disclosure of Information to a Third Party
A clinician or a medical facility is allowed to disclose information to another party provided the patient has
given his consent. Information may also be disclosed to specific authorities if the
clinician or the facility are so instructed by law, or if the information is needed for continued