Study maps patients’ rights in genetic testing
Prague/Leuven – The Czech Republic is lagging behind in applying the ten year-old European convention on Human rights and biomedicine, according to a new report from EuroGentest, an EU-funded Network of Excellence, which assesses the progress EU member states have made in assuring patients‘ rights in the area of genetic testing.
“A comprehensive legislative framework of patient rights does not exist at the moment”, underlined study author Herman Nys from the University of Leuven (Belgium). According to the report, published in early April, the Czech Republic lacks a comprehensive system of patients‘ rights compared to other member states of the European Union (EU) such as Denmark. “Important patients rights such as the right to informed consent and the right to information about the personal health status, the right to the protection of privacy and confidentiality have only been incorporated fragmentally and incompletely into legislation”, said Nys. Instead, patient rights are in the hands of an Ombudsman and individual judges.
Drafts for an act on patients rights have been announced several times since the Czech Republic signed the biomedicines convention in 2001. But until now, none have made it through the legislative process. The Czech Society for Medical Genetics welcomed the study. The review would be a first important step towards mapping the situation, the scientists explained.