The concept we face when dealing with "patient rights" starts with "law". It is possible to define the concept of "right" as the material and spiritual power that the person has in itself by birth and which subsequently gave rise to the rule of law.

Another concept mentioned together with that of "law" and which is directly related to patients' rights is the concept of "human rights". Human rights were established for the first time in England in 1215. Defining the same way we did above the concept of "human rights" is of great importance in terms of the right to health, since the rights of patients, intrinsically linked to health, they are a reflection of fundamental human rights.

On 1 January 1998 the Turkish Ministry of Health published the law number 23420 concerning the rights of the patient in the Official Gazette and was declared as follows: the right of access to health services, only for the fact of being human, is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Turkish Republic and refers to the rights guaranteed by treaties and international laws.


Patient rights are in line with the following principles;

  • Women and men have the right to respect as people.
  • Everyone has the right to determine their own life.
  • Everyone has the right to physical and mental integrity and to live a safe life as a person.
  • The privacy of everyone, male or female, must be respected.
  • Everyone has the right to have and respect their ethical and cultural values, religious and philosophical beliefs.
  • Everyone has the right to the protection of their health and the highest achievable level of health for disease prevention and adequate health care.


Patients' rights are important because;

  • Ensure the development of the patient as a person and the protection of integrity and respect for the person, reaffirming fundamental human rights in health care
  • Help to make full use of health care and alleviate the impact of systemic problems
  • Encourage and support the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals, in particular, the active participation of patients in the health care process
  • Create new opportunities for dialogue between patient organizations, health professionals and health authorities and strengthen existing ones.
  • Reduce staff health mistakes
  • Increase the quality of health care by ensuring that patients participate in national and local health services programs
  • Provide detailed provisions for special groups such as children, psychiatric patients, the elderly and prisoners
  • Ensure that health services are humanized by modifying the passive model in relation to the doctor-patient relationship
  • Increasing health efficiency by making patient training a general practice
  • Provide automatic control in the health service environment by creating regular application mechanisms for patients' rights
  • Prevent those health market practices that provide for "monetizing" the health culture.