Abstract and Keywords
Consumers of health and mental health services are afforded numerous legal rights. Broad categories of rights include self-determination, access to health information, protections for mental health consumers who are hospitalized, and a right to community integration. Two areas of consumer rights are emerging: a greater emphasis on human rights, and the right of consumers to participate in developing and implementing programs and services within the organizations from which they receive services. Various means for enforcing rights exist in both the private and the public sectors. Social workers play critical roles in ensuring that consumer rights become a reality.
Keywords: rights, human rights, self-determination, informed consent, right to refuse treatment, right to die, advance directives, HIPAA, confidentiality, involuntary commitment, community integration, empowerment, organizational decision-making
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