Korean Journal of Medical Ethics, 12(2):153-164, 2009
Korean Journal of Medical Ethics; 한국의료윤리학회지
Purpose: The purposes of this study were a) to examine the level of awareness among patients of their right to know and their right to self-determination, and b) to determine the relationship between patients’ awareness of these two rights.
Method: For this descriptive-correlational study, participants were recruited at the endoscopic examination rooms of two university hospitals. Responses to self-report questionnaires were collected from 236 participants from 20 December 2007 to 10 November 2008.
Results: On the basis of a five-point scale, the average scores were 3.67 for patients’ awareness of their right to know and 2.81 for their awareness of their right to self-determination. The relationship between their awareness of these two rights was not significant. The recognition of a patient’s right to know was higher among those with a college education. Awareness of a patient’s right to self-determination varied according to age, education level, and economic status.
Conclusion: There is an insufficient awareness among patients of their rights to know and to selfdetermination,
especially for those with a lower education. Nurses should consider a patient’s right to know when providing medical treatment and to assist their right to self-determination. Systematic educational programs on patients’ rights need to be developed for both patients and medical personnel.
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