Implementing the Sphere Project’s standards for patient’s healthcare rights in the disaster zone: The experience of the Israeli field hospital in post-quake Nepal
Keywords:patient rights, disasters, World Health Organization
Emergency medical teams (EMTs) encounter chaos upon arriving at the scene of a disaster. Rescue efforts are utilitarian and focus on providing the technical aspects of medical care in order to save the most lives at the expense of the individual. This often neglects the basic healthcare rights of the patient. The Sphere Project was initiated to develop universal humanitarian standards for disaster response.
The increase in the number of EMTs led the World Health Organization (WHO) to organize standards for disaster response. In 2016, the WHO certified the Israel Defense Forces Field Hospital (IDF-FH) as the first to be awarded the highest level of accreditation (EMT-3). This paper presents the IDF-FH’s efforts to protect the patient’s healthcare rights in a disaster zone based on the Sphere Principles.
These core Sphere Principles include the right to professional medical treatment; the right to dignity, privacy, and confidentiality; the right for information in an understandable language; the right to informed consent; the obligation to maintain private medical records; the obligation to adhere to universal ethical standards, to respect culture and custom and to care for vulnerable populations; the right to protection from sexual exploitation and violence; and the right to continued treatment.
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