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Abstract

National audience In mirror doctors’ hippocratic duties, patients’ rights have slowly emerged and the care relationship has gradually been captured by law. A fundamental shift was made by the Law of 4 March 2002, known as the ‘Kouchner Law’, which, inter alia, enshrined the rights of the person cared for by the health system, the right to assert them and the right to solidarity. By providing a legal basis for patients’ rights, it also standardised practices between private and public bodies and accelerated the approximation between administrative courts and judicial courts. Sixteen years later, the work of harmonising courts has intensified and rights have further refined. The Law of 22 April 2005, known as the ‘Leonetti Law’, created rights for persons at the end of their lives. The Law of 26 January 2016, known as the ‘Touraine Law’, extended the scope of the right to information and the right to access to medical records. The Law of 2 February 2016, known as ‘Leonetti-Claeys’, considerably strengthened the right to take care and, above all, the right to refuse treatment. In order not to indicate a hierarchy of patients’ rights, this work was carried out in twelve chapters with varying degrees. It is aimed at a broad public (health practitioners, legal practitioners, students, academics) and presents the main elements of patient law in a clear and precise manner, illustrated by the latest reflections (e.g. the report of the Council of State on the revision of the Bioethics Law) and updated texts and case-law in September 2018. The choice of its title reflects a position of the author, who believes that patients’ rights are not limited to patients’ rights.

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