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Attorney Randy Ratliff

Patients' Rights

Elder Law Attorney Helping Victims in Nashville and Surrounding Communities

Much is said about the civil rights of prisoners, defendants facing trial, and people temporarily detained by the police, but what about the rights of everyday, law-abiding citizens, such as the elderly – especially those who are confined to nursing homes or assisted living centers? Although there is not a formal “Bill of Rights” comparable to the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, patients in long-term care facilities do have a number of important legal rights. Knowledgeable Nashville patients’ rights lawyer Randy Ratliff focuses much of his practice on elder law matters, and he will be glad to schedule a personal consultation with you to discuss your situation or the issues faced by a family member.

While speaking about elder care issues, estate planning, or advanced care directives can be an emotionally daunting task, the resolution of these matters can be much less stressful in the privacy of an attorney’s office now rather than in a public courtroom later. The key to addressing your future needs is to understand not only your rights as a potential nursing home or assisted living center patient but also how to use the law effectively to see that your wishes are honored in the future and that your rights are respected by those in a position of authority. There are many legal documents that can assist in this process, and a one-on-one conversation with an elder law lawyer can go a long way toward helping to prepare for the various possibilities of your later years, including any physical or mental disabilities.

Rules, Regulations, and Rights of Patients in Nursing Homes and Other Facilities

There are many regulations aimed at protecting the rights of frail, elderly, and vulnerable individuals who reside in nursing homes and similar facilities. Some of these rules pertain to matters of health and emotional well-being, while others focus on financial matters and privacy concerns. Since each person’s situation is unique, it is wise to speak to a patients’ rights attorney in the Nashville area in order to determine whether a patient’s rights may have been violated in a particular case.

Some of the more frequently asked questions concerning patients’ rights relate to an individual’s freedom to make decisions concerning medical care, such as the right to accept or refuse certain types of care. Under Tennessee law, patients who have the legal capacity to enter into an advance directive, such as a living will, can express their wishes concerning the use of extraordinary measures like life support. The patient may also wish to have a durable power of attorney for health care in place, designating a particular individual to make such decisions for them, should they become physically or mentally incapacitated at some point in the future.

Other patients’ rights questions revolve around an individual’s ability to choose a certain physician or place of treatment, to receive medical treatment that conforms to the generally accepted standard of care (and to pursue compensation for injuries proximately caused by a breach of the doctor’s or nursing home’s duty of care), to have their records maintained in a confidential manner, to be informed of and understand issues concerning billing, payment, insurance, and other contractual matters, and to receive an adequate level of care and attention toward their physical, emotional, and social needs in an institutional setting.

Speak to a Compassionate Patients’ Rights Lawyer in Nashville or Beyond

At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, we provide timely and comprehensive legal advice to Tennessee residents who want to protect themselves, their families, and their hard-earned assets as they approach their later years. Our practice includes not only elder law but also business succession planning, revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, and probate. Estate planning lawyer Randy Ratliff serves all of Davidson and Williamson Counties, including communities such as Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, and Cool Springs. For an appointment to discuss your needs with a Nashville patients’ rights attorney, call us today at 615-656-8282 or contact us online.