Rights and responsibilities of citizens with regard to health and healthcare

Rights relating to equality and non-discrimination

  • Right to healthcare and health services.
  • Right to enjoy, without discrimination, the rights recognized in the charter of rights and responsibilities.
  •  Rights of the most vulnerable groups in specific healthcare situations.

Rights relating to the autonomy of the individual

  • Right to be informed in advance in order to be able to give consent (informed consent) before any diagnostic or therapeutic procedure is performed.
  • Right of the patient to choose among different treatment options and to forego proposed medical treatments or healthcare interventions.
  • Right of the child to be consulted on decisions regarding interventions that may be taken concerning his or her health, so that his or her opinion might be considered a determining factor, depending on his or her age and level of maturity.
  • Every individual has the right to a dignified death, according to his or her concept of dignity.
  • Right to have advance medical wishes taken into account, as established by the corresponding document. Customer Service for Users is available to the patient for any information or procedure required that relates to this issue.

Rights relating to privacy and confidentiality

  • Right to decide who may be present during healthcare procedures.
  • Right to preserve the privacy of a patient's body with respect to others.
  • Right to be treated in surroundings that ensure a person's privacy, dignity, autonomy and safety.
  • Right to freedom of beliefs, religion and worship.
  • Right to confidentiality of information.
  • Right to access personal data obtained in healthcare.
  • Right to be asked for consent before performing and disclosing image records.

Rights relating to the person's genetic make-up.

  • Right to confidentiality of information concerning a person's genome and that it is not used for any kind of discrimination.
  • Right to enjoy the benefits of new genetic technologies within the existing legal framework.

Rights relating to scientific research and experimentation

  • Right to know whether the procedures of prognosis, diagnosis and therapy applied to a patient can be used for a teaching or research project that shall in no way pose an additional risk to the patient's health.
  • Right to have access to tissue preparations or biological samples from a biopsy or extraction in order to obtain a second professional opinion or continuity of care at a different centre.

Rights relating to disease prevention and health promotion and protection

  • Right to have sufficient knowledge of community health problems that pose a risk to health in terms of community rates and interest, and that this information be disseminated in comprehensible, accurate and appropriate terms for health protection.
  • Right to environmental quality.
  • Right to safe food and drinking water.
  • Right to know plans, actions and services of prevention, health promotion and protection, and to know the way in which they are put into effect.
  • Right to preventative services as part of routine visits to the doctor.
  • Right to reject preventive actions proposed in situations that do not involve a risk to third parties, without prejudice to public health regulations.

Rights relating to healthcare information and access to clinical documentation

  • Right to receive information on the care process and health status.
  • User's right to have a complete medical history that contains all information on his or her health status and clinical and healthcare practices from different events.
  • Right to access documentation of the patient's medical records.
  • Right to written information on the patient's care process and health status.

Rights relating to access to healthcare

  • Right of access to public healthcare services.
  • Right to choose the healthcare professionals and the centre.
  • Right to obtain medicines and healthcare products required for health.
  • Right to be treated in a timely manner appropriate to the disease and according to criteria of equality.
  • Right to seek a second opinion.

Rights relating to general information on healthcare services and user participation

  • Right to have access to the charter of rights and responsibilities at all healthcare centres.
  • Right to receive general information and information on benefits and services.
  • Right to know which benefits are covered by insurance.
  • Right to know and identify the professionals who provide healthcare.
  • Right to make complaints and suggestions.
  • Right to take part in healthcare activities through institutions and agencies of community participation and social organisations, under the terms established in regulations.
  • Right to the use of information and communication technologies, according to the level of implementation and development of these technologies in the healthcare network.

Rights relating to quality of care

  • Right to quality humane and scientific healthcare.
  • Right to know the level of quality of care centres.
  • Right to receive continuous and comprehensive care.


  • Responsibility to look after and take charge of one's health. This responsibility is necessary in particular when the health of other people may be subject to risks or harm.
  • Responsibility to make use of resources, benefits and rights in accordance with health requirements and according to the availabilities of the healthcare system, in order to facilitate access to healthcare for all citizens under equal conditions.
  • Responsibility to comply with general health requirements, for the entire community, and specific requirements determined by healthcare services.
  • Responsibility to respect and comply with healthcare measures adopted for risk prevention, health protection and the fight against threats to public health, such as tobacco, alcohol, traffic accidents and communicable diseases that can be prevented, and to collaborate to achieve these goals.
  • Responsibility to be accountable for the proper use of the healthcare benefits offered by the healthcare system, in particular medicines, complementary benefits, incapacity for work and benefits of a social nature.
  • Responsibility to use healthcare facilities and services responsibly, in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • Responsibility to maintain respect for the regulations of each centre and for the personal and professional dignity of personnel who provide services.
  • Responsibility to provide, in a fair and clear way, identification and data relating to physical state or health, which are required for the care process or for reasons of duly substantiated public interest.
  • Responsibility to sign the relevant document when refusing any healthcare action, especially diagnostic tests, preventive measures and treatments of particular relevance to the patient's health. This document shall indicate clearly that the patient has been sufficiently informed of the consequences that may occur and that he or she has the right to refuse procedures which are suggested.
  • The patient has a responsibility to agree to be discharged once the care process that the centre or unit offers has been completed. If for various reasons the patient's opinion diverges, all channels of communication will be used and reasonable action taken, and, if the situation so warrants, the centre or unit will be required to find the healthcare resources needed for proper care.