Your rights to choice of treatments

  1. The doctor or other health professional you see will recommend a course of treatment. Feel free to ask if there are other ways to treat your condition – such as PDT - and what they would advise you to do.

  2. Doctors recommend treatments based on evidence from research and their own experience with other patients. The evidence includes information on how well treatments work, what side effects or complications they have and how they interact with other treatments.

  3. Some of the evidence that they rely on comes from treatment guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) - an independent organisation responsible for judging whether particular treatments are effective enough for the NHS to use, bearing in mind the research results and the cost to the NHS.

  4. You have the right to drugs and treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you. Also, the relevant health body is obliged to fund specified NICE recommendations usually no longer than three months from the publication of the recommendation.

  5. Have a look at the NICE summaries of guidance  This guidance is updated regularly as a result of the latest research – our charity is in the process of identifying research that needs to be carried out on the uses of PDT in fighting cancer and other illnesses, and this we hope lead to further NICE recommendations about PDT.

  6. Health care providers must not discriminate against you because of race, sex, disability, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age when they decide what treatment to give you as a patient. It is not against the law for them to discriminate against you because of your age.

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