copertina inglese

In 2002, ACN, together with organizations from 15 EU countries, established the European Charter of Patients’ Rights. It lists 14 fundamental patients’ rights (+ 3 Rights of Active Citizenship), which each EU country must protect and guarantee. Drafted in 22 languages, it has become a reference for EU citizens’ rights in health care and a milestone for other EU Charters. All these rights, based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union1 (art.35), are crucial in matter of European citizenship and health-care services.

Each of the national health systems of the EU countries manifests quite different realities with respect to patients’ rights. Some systems may have patients’ rights charters, specific laws, administrative regulations, charters of services, bodies such as ombudspersons, procedures like alternative dispute resolution, etc. Others may have none of these. In any case, the present Charter can reinforce the degree of protection of patients/citizens’ rights in the different national and international contexts, and can be a tool for the harmonisation of health systems that favours citizens’ and patients’ rights. This is of the utmost importance, especially because of the freedom of movement within the EU and the enlargement process.

  1. Right to Preventive Measures
  2. Right of Access
  3. Right to Information
  4. Right to Consent
  5. Right to Free Choice
  6. Right to Privacy and Confidentiality
  7. Right to Respect of Patients’ Time
  8. Right to the Observance of Quality Standards
  9. Right to Safety
  10. Right to Innovation
  11. Right to Avoid Unnecessary Suffering and Pain
  12. Right to Personalized Treatment
  13. Right to Complain
  14. Right to Compensation


  1. Right to perform general interest activities
  2. Right to perform advocacy activities
  3. Right to participate in policy-making in the area of health

In 2020 ACN gathered all the many achievements, information, documents, activities, and publications, realized over the years thanks to the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, in the following new webpages, where you can find what has been done and what you can do with it!

"Click on the colored buttons to find out more on the new pages"

01 06 02 08 04
07 05 03

The Charter is submitted for consideration by civil society, national and EU institutions, and everyone who is able to contribute, by actions and omissions, to the protection or the undermining of these rights. Because of its connection to the present European reality, and to trends in health care, the Charter may be submitted to future reviews and will evolve over time.

The implementation of the Charter is primarily entrusted to those active citizenship organisations working on patients’ rights. It also requires the commitment of health care institutions, professionals, managers, governments and administrative bodies.

The reinforcement of the rights established in the EU Charter of Patients’ Rights will become effective only with the cooperation and commitment of all the healthcare stakeholders.

The updating of the webpages dedicated to the European Charter of Patients’ Rights has been possible thanks to a policy-focused healthcare charitable contribution by Upjohn, a Pfizer division

pfizer upjohn

For more information, please write to: Daniela Quaggia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


[1] Nice Charter of Fundamental Rights

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