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What are the legal rights of Oklahoma nursing home residents?


Various medical or personal reasons could be the cause of a person's admittance to a nursing home. Once admitted, however, residents and their families have the right to expect appropriate medical care that won't result in medical malpractice.

According to Oklahoma law, when admitted to a nursing home the resident and the personal representative of the resident should be provided with a written documentation of patient rights and staff responsibilities. The nursing home facility should ensure that every staff member is aware of and observes patient rights and performs responsibilities in an effective manner. Also, these principles and rights should be posted in a noticeable and easily accessible place in the facility.

The residents have been provided extensive rights under the Nursing Home Care Act, including the right to:

  • Receive medical care, which is consistent with established standards,
  • Privacy for spousal visits,
  • Respectful and courteous treatment,
  • Freedom from emotional and physiological abuse and neglect,
  • Receive justifiable services for individual needs and preferences except if that service endangers the health or safety of the patient or others,
  • Private communications,
  • Present grievances and to join with other residents or individuals to work to improve resident care, without fear of reprisal or discrimination
  • Manage personal finances, unless that right has been delegated in writing to the facility,
  • Be notified before a change of room or roommate,
  • Retain and use personal belongings unless medically contraindicated
  • Exercise civil and religious liberties, and
  • Participate in social, religious and community activities.

Any nursing home employee or other person charged and found guilty of violating any of these rights listed here could be guilty of a misdemeanor crime and face fines and imprisonment. In addition to this, an aggrieved resident could take legal action in civil court, including filing a lawsuit to recover actual and punitive damages for the nursing home error.

Source: OSCN.net, "Title 63. Public Health and Safety," Accessed on Nov 21, 2014

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