ANA Press Releases

April 9, 1999

Michael Stewart, 202-651-7048
Michelle Slattery, 202-651-7027

RN=Real News

ANA Urges Congress to Enact a "Real" Patients' Bill of Rights

ANA Encourages Nurses, Other Health Care Professionals and Public to Sign Online Patients' Bill of Rights Petition

Washington, D.C. ó The American Nurses Association (ANA) today urged Congress to enact a "real" Patients' Bill of Rights that is comprehensive, enforceable and addresses the whole patient and their needs. At a Capitol Hill event today, ANA President Beverly L. Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, along with other health care and consumer leaders and members of Congress, helped launch and signed an online Patients' Bill of Rights petition, which is available at Following the event on Capitol Hill, the group attended a rally in Philadelphia with President Clinton.

Malone encouraged all nurses, other health care professionals and the public to sign the online petition. "On behalf of the American Nurses Association, I strongly urge all nurses to sign the online Patients' Bill of Rights petition today so the rights of patients and the rights of nurses and other health care professionals to advocate for their patients are protected. This is our chance to show Congress that a real Patients' Bill of Rights is needed now," said Malone.

ANA has been a strong supporter of Patients' Bill of Rights legislation and believes every individual should have access to health care services along the full continuum of care and be an empowered partner in making health care decisions. Given the nursing profession's preeminent role in patient advocacy, ANA is particularly heartened by the steps proposed to protect registered nurses (RNs) and other health care professionals from retaliation when they advocate for their patients' health and safety.

"As the nation's foremost patient advocates, RNs need to be able to speak up about inappropriate or inadequate care that would harm their patients," said Malone. "Nurses at the bedside know exactly what happens when care is denied, comes too late or is so inadequate that it leads to inexcusable suffering. Nurses want to see strong, comprehensive patient protection legislation enacted this year."


The American Nurses Association is the only full-service professional organization representing the nationís 2.6 million Registered Nurses through its 53 constituent associations. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

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