Why are basic duties universal

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March, 2007

Serving individual patients and the public is a primary concern of modern dentistry. For this reason, the recognition of fundamental human and patient rights for both individuals and communities is one of the most important values ​​of the dental profession and an important obligation.

Defending these fundamental rights is an essential part of high quality and ethical dental care.

The many basic rights of dental patients include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing dental care in a healthy and safe environment with compassion and respect for their rights and dignity
  • Access to competent, adequate and ethical oral health information and care of high quality
  • Protection of privacy
  • Necessary concern for their needs, concerns, legitimate preferences and complaints
  • Encouragement to participate in the decision-making process regarding your own dental treatment.

In order to ensure safe, high quality, efficient and ethical treatment for all members of society and to strengthen personal responsibility for maintaining their oral health, these fundamental rights of patients must be weighed against their duties. These duties arise from their general ethical obligations and their duties to the community; this includes:

  • Show respect for the well-being and needs of others,
  • Understanding the desire of dentists to provide effective, equitable and adequate care to all members of society,
  • Giving oral health the necessary priority and taking responsibility for your own oral health,
  • To be aware of the limits of individual dental treatment
  • Knowing the patient's rights and the limits of those rights.

The legal limits or exceptions to basic patient rights (e.g. in the event of a health risk to the population) and circumstances in which patients have significant limitations in performing their duties (e.g. physical or mental disabilities) must be recognized.

The constant changes affecting both the profession of dentist and the general public mean that regular reviews of the rights and obligations of dental patients are necessary so that they can meet future requirements.

Background material specifically developed on this topic by the Dental Practice Committee in connection with the draft opinion consists of five articles published (in English only) in the International Dental Journal:

  • The responsibilities and rights of dental professionals. 1. Introduction. International Dental Journal (2006) 2/06, 56, 109-111.
  • The responsibilities and rights of dental professionals. 2. Professional responsibilities. International Dental Journal (2006) 3/06 56, 168-170
  • The responsibilities and rights of dental professionals. 3. Professional rights. International Dental Journal (2006) 4/06, 56, 224-226

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