Patient Rights Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Patient Rights article.

Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (t...

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Advance directives: These directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation ...

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American Medical Association: The AMA. The AMA's mission statement proclaims:

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Child abuse: A complex set of behaviors that include child neglect and the physical, emoti...

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Clinical trial: A study that is intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medic...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Informed consent: The process by which a patient learns about and understands the purpose,...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Institutional Review Board: IRB. A group of scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers at ...

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Journal of the American Medical Association: JAMA, which began publication in 1883, now bi...

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Labor: Childbirth, the process of delivering a baby and the placenta, membranes, and umbil...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

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Medicaid: A number of US programs of public assistance for persons whose income is insuffi...

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Medicare: The US government's national health insurance program for people aged 65 and old...

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Mental retardation: The condition of having an IQ measured as below 70 to 75 and significa...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry, the medical specialty conc...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Standard of care: 1. A diagnostic and treatment process that a clinician should fol...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum, a microscopic orga...

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Venereal: Having to do with sexual contact. For example, a venereal disease is a sexually ...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Medical Dictionary