Quick Links

Wind Haven Favicon

Wind Haven Foundation

Know Your Patient Rights: The Nightmare Of Healthcare Abuse

Patient Rights
In the face of abuse, know your patient rights. HIPAA protects your privacy. Demand dignity, respect, and empathy. Your voice matters.

Domestic violence survivors often face numerous challenges in their journey toward healing and recovery. One aspect of their lives that demands heightened awareness is their experience within the healthcare system. In this blog post, we will discuss an alarming incident, highlighting the importance of understanding HIPAA and patient rights. We will shed light on the abusive practices in medicine and reinforce the significance of patient privacy and dignity.

The Shocking Incident

Recently, someone I know, a brave survivor of domestic violence, experienced a distressing incident in the emergency room. She was rushed to the hospital due to seizures, already feeling vulnerable. Her distress increased as they administered a higher medication dose due to her resistance to the standard one. This, unfortunately, was just the beginning of her ordeal.

Upon her arrival in the ER, a male doctor approached her and handed her a gown, instructing her to change. A nurse, a PCT (Patient Care Technician), or an orderly typically performs this task, making the doctor’s behavior already questionable. Uncomfortable with the situation and mindful of her past trauma as a survivor of sexual assault, she politely requested the doctor to leave the room so she could change in private.

Advocating for Patient Rights

The response she received was not only shocking but deeply concerning. The doctor reacted with anger and attempted to argue with her, dismissing her need for privacy and disregarding her emotional state. Only when she firmly insisted, mentioning her ability to call for a nurse’s assistance, did he begrudgingly leave the room.

This incident sheds light on the abuse of power and violation of patient rights that some survivors face in medical settings. Within the healthcare system, everyone, especially survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, deserves treatment with dignity, respect, and empathy.

Understanding HIPAA and Patient Rights

1. HIPAA: Protecting Patient Privacy

HIPAA, a federal law, keeps your medical info private and secure. It lets you control your health data and limits who can see it. Doctors, nurses, and staff must follow HIPAA to keep your info safe and confidential.

2. Patient Rights: Dignity and Respect

Patients have rights to dignity, respect, and privacy beyond HIPAA. Survivors of domestic violence deserve compassionate treatment. Knowing these rights helps survivors demand the care they deserve.

  1. Access to Medical Records: Patients have the right to access and obtain copies of their medical records.
  2. Privacy: Healthcare providers must keep patients’ medical information private and secure.
  3. Informed Consent: Healthcare providers must explain treatments, including risks and benefits, to patients so they can make informed decisions.
  4. Respect and Dignity: Healthcare providers must treat patients with respect and dignity.
  5. Equal Treatment: Patients cannot be discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, or religion.
  6. Complaint Filing: Patients have the right to file complaints if they believe their rights have been violated, without fear of retaliation.
  7. Safety: Healthcare facilities must ensure a safe environment for patients.
  8. Emergency Care: Patients have the right to receive emergency medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.
  9. Transparency: Healthcare providers must clearly explain healthcare costs and fees to patients.
  10. Patient Advocacy: Patients can have someone advocate on their behalf and make decisions for them if they are unable to do so.

Federal law protects these rights to ensure patients receive fair and quality healthcare.


The incident experienced by this brave survivor underscores the urgent need for change within the medical community. Awareness and education about patient rights, especially among survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, can empower individuals to advocate for themselves. By understanding and asserting their rights, patients can contribute to a culture of respect and empathy within healthcare institutions, ensuring that no survivor faces further trauma within the walls of a hospital.

Let us stand together, raise our voices, and support one another in championing the rights and dignity of every patient, especially survivors of domestic violence, as they navigate the path to healing and recovery.

Leave a Reply

Share the Post:
Abuse Cycle - Domestic Violence Trauma Recovery

Domestic Violence Resources

Click Sign Up And Give Us Your Best Email Address To Get Our Free Domestic Violence Resource List, Fillable Safety Plan, & Bug-Out Bag PDF.

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.

Related Posts

Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Form

How can I make a donation? You can make a donation on our online donation form. Donations benefit victims of Domestic Violence and are tax deductible.

Which payment methods are accepted in your online store? We accept all major credit cards.

What is your refund policy? For a complete overview of our refund policy, please visit our “Refund Policy” page.

How can I access my account? To access your account, you can visit our menu and select the “My Account” link or click below:

My Account

How do I submit a speaking request? To request Wind Haven to speak at your next event, please submit the contact form and put “Speaking Request” in the subject field.

To be considered, the Message Field should contain the following:

Date Requested

Time Requested (i.e. From 11AM to 1PM — Time Zone}

Event Location (City/State)

Event Venue Name

Type of Event (Church Service, Conference, Workshop, etc.)

Targeted Audience (General, Singles, Couples, Leaders, etc.)

Organization Name and Organization web site

Primary Contact (Name, Email, Phone)

Any additional details pertinent to your event

Your request will be reviewed and someone will follow up with you.

Contact Us

Get Your FREE Boundaries E-Book!

Empowered Boundaries: Nurturing Personal Growth within a Toxic Marriage

A Body, Mind, and Spirit Guide to Keeping Safe and Strong in a Toxic Marriage

By completing this form you consent to be added to our mailing list. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to confirm your subscription. You will receive an e-mail whenever we post a new blog article.

Get Your FREE Domestic Violence
Strategy Guide Bundle!

Give Us Your Best Email Address  & Click Download To Get Our Free Domestic Violence Resource List, Fillable Safety Plan, & Bug-Out Bag PDF.

By completing this form you consent to be added to our mailing list. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to confirm your subscription. You will receive an e-mail whenever we post a new blog article.

Internet usage can be monitored and is impossible to erase completely.

If you are concerned about internet security & safety due to abuse, close this screen and clear your history, cookies, and browser cache. You can re-open our website in a secure location in a private browser window. 

Safe computers can be found at your local library, Internet cafe, shelter, workplace, or computer technology center; avoid using shared computers when researching things like travel plans, housing options, legal issues, and safety plans. 

Click Sign Up Below to Get Your Free Domestic Violence Resource List, Fillable Safety Plan, & Bug-Out Bag PDF!