Lege Artis Medicinae

[Doctors’ obligations and patients’ rights in the health legislation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century]

FEITH Helga Judit1, GRADVOHL Edina1, BALÁZS Péter2

NOVEMBER 03, 2015

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2015;25(10)

[Health care services, particularly the in-patient care experienced a considerable development during the period of Dualism since 1867 in the Hungarian part of the Empire. Its legal basis created the first Hungarian Act on Public Health (Act XIV 1876). Nobody is questioning today the legal protection of patients as consumers of the health care services. It was regulated in comprehensive terms the first time by the 1997 health legislation (Act CLIV of 1997 on Health). Patients’ rights existed already prior to the 20th century however they were dealt with only by few studies thus far. The primary aim of our study is 1) analysing doctors’ obligations regulated by the first Hungarian Act on Public Health (Act XIV 1876) and the Hospital Decree, 2) comparing these legal norms with the actual Act on Health as well. Based on the comparative analysis of the first Hungarian Act on Public Health (Act XIV 1876) and the Act CLIV of 1997 on Health it is obviously demonstrated that endeavouring the protection of patients in vulnerable situation was clearly determined in the 19th century regulation and the patients’ rights in contemporary sense of the word were also emerging. As a result, we draw the conclusion that we must break with the frequently voiced claim about the first emerging of patients’ rights only in the 1972 health legislation in the middle of the 20th century transferred and systematically itemized later in the comprehensive Act of Health in 1997. Our today’s regulation in force was already anticipated in the 19th and even 18th century Hungarian health legislation.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Egészségtudományi Kar, Társadalomtudományi Tanszék
  2. Semmelweis Egyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Népegészségtani Intézet

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