A Patient’s Credo

medical team discussing results
Patient-Centered Care

I am a patient 

and a patient is,

 first and foremost,

 a person.

 The physicians and nurses who take care of me are also persons

 and expect to be treated as such.

 As a patient, I expect to be treated as

 a subject, not an object.

 I am an end in myself,

 not merely a means to serve the ends

 of medical science and practice.

 I will not allow my humanity to be reduced to a location.

 Hence, I am neither a “bed number” nor a “room number.”

 Nor will I permit being referred to in dehumanizing terms.

 Thus, I am neither a “gallbladder” nor a “heart” nor a “kidney.”

 My medical chart and history are about my life, about me;

 but by them alone, you can never know me as a person.

 I am not an illness,

 which is what I have.

 Nor am I a diagnosis,

 which describes my medical condition.

 Rather, I am a person.

  Treat me, then, as a person

 and you will, at the same time,

treat my illness.

 I am impressed by your medical knowledge and skills.

 But I even more impressed by your affirming

 my value as a person.

 I am a patient

and a patient is,

above all,

a person.