Health care and discrimination

Ummah Project conducts research into the observance of human rights – the right to have access to the health services  and the principle of non-discrimination in health care, with a current focus on Covid-19 patients and the “unexplained” excess mortality among the population with immigration background. In the Netherlands, the risk of COVID-19 mortality is higher among people with a Moroccan, Turkish and Surinamese background. In recent years, we have received numerous signals about unexplainable limitations to the right to healthcare. We have supported and represented many individuals fighting for their right to receive care. In these years, especially since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have observed a trend of unilaterally imposing treatment restrictions on patients without consultation. Treatment restrictions – often Code B – that are not understood or wanted by the patient or next of kin and to which the patient and their family immediately file a complaint against without adequately being heard. There is no discussion or consultation with the patient. There is no informed consent or shared decision making. The family is not always involved as fully-fledged medical representatives, even if a medical authorisation is submitted.  In order for you to be prepared and perhaps to be able to avoid uncertainty, disputes and the realisation and execution of your rights, we advise you to know and learn about your rights in health care.

A very concise overview

AND THE RIGHT TO GET A COPY OF IT

You may have full insights in your medical file, at any time. Without delay, you should be given access to your dossier. Download your dossier on a daily basis. We have experienced hospitals tempering with the medical logs to make a better case for their own opinion when requesting a second opinion or in cases of malpractice.

You have the right to consult with your doctor or care provider and decide on the treatment together; Medical treatment is not imposed on you. You can refuse the treatment.

NEGATIVE RIGHT OF CHOICE

Medical and health care services, such as hospital services, are in principle legally not different from any other (non-medical) services offered. You enter into a contract with the medical or health care provider, such as a hospital — you are not obliged to accept the offered (imposed) treatment, even if they make it sound or look like it is mandatory and you have no choice.You always have a choice.

An opinion of a different doctor than the one treating you

In case you are unsure about the care offered or withheld from you, always ask for a second opinion. It is your right to have the decision of the doctor or medical care provider double checked. You can choose yourself who this doctor/medical care provider may be, do your research. In severe cases it might be worth looking into foreign expertise or investing in a private institution specialised in requested treatment.

Do you see a mistake in your medical file?

Request the holder (author) of the file to correct it. If there is a dispute about whether or not it is a mistake and it cannot be solved between you and the author, then file a complaint at the medical/healthcare organisation you’re hosted. If this does not lead to a correction, then you may contact the Ummah Lawyer for advice or support. 

A living will is a legally binding document that outlines your preferences for medical treatments to keep you alive, as well as your wishes for other medical decisions, such as pain management or organ donation.

It's important to consider your values and beliefs, including any religious practices and wishes you may have. As Muslim, you may want to include specific religious guidance in your living will.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that even healthy, young people can suddenly become unable to make their own medical decisions due to unforeseen circumstances like a coma. By completing a living will, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are not left with the burden of making difficult decisions on your behalf. You can download a living will form here, fill it out, and keep it safe. Consider keeping a digital copy in PDF format so that it's easily accessible.

RIGHT TO HAVE A MEDICAL AUTHORISATION

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that anyone can suddenly find themselves unable to make medical decisions due to unforeseen circumstances like a coma, regardless of age or health. That's why it's essential to have a medical power of attorney ready.


A medical power of attorney is a legal document in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. It's important to note that informed consent, or the permission given by a patient to begin medical treatment, requires the mental capacity to make decisions. For those who cannot provide informed consent, such as minors, elderly patients, or disabled patients, a legal guardian may provide consent instead.

To ensure that your medical wishes are respected, it's crucial to have a medical power of attorney statement ready. You should also help your loved ones, including your parents and grandparents, in formulating their own statements. You can download a medical power of attorney form here and authorize the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf. Keep the document safe, and consider keeping a digital copy in PDF format for easy access.

You have the right to complain if you believe your rights as a patient have not been respected or upheld, or if you believe you have not received the treatment or care services you are entitled to. You may seek advice from the Ummah Lawyer at any stage of the complaint process.

We are here to reclaim the narrative of our own story and defend our rights!

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ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS