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Eating Disorder Experts, Advocates Introduce Patient Bill of Rights To Ensure Quality Care in Washington State and Throughout U.S.
Date:5/14/2008

SEATTLE, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) today introduced a patient bill of rights, launching a statewide initiative in Washington to help families access quality care for individuals affected by eating disorders.

Entitled the Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders, the Charter calls for a partnership among patients, families and their treatment team to ensure the highest quality care for every person undergoing treatment for anorexia nervosa (which has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder), bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. NEDA, along with the AED, the international organization of eating disorder specialists who drafted the Charter, is seeking support for the Charter in Washington State from national and state policymakers, clinicians, and families affected by eating disorders.

"The Charter was created by the AED to ensure that eating disorders -- serious mental illnesses with often severe physical consequences -- are treated as such, and that patients and their families are afforded every opportunity to receive high quality, affordable care," said Lynn Grefe, NEDA CEO. "We hear from families every day who don't know where to turn or what to expect from their treatment providers. It's gut wrenching. Now their rights as patients are clearly defined -- a huge step for the millions of affected families."
The Charter calls for patients and their families to:

-- have ongoing communication/partnership with health professionals

-- receive comprehensive assessment and treatment planning

-- receive accessible, high quality, fully funded, specialized care

-- receive respectful, fully informed, age-appropriate, safe levels of

care

-- have caregivers who are informed, valued and respected as a treatment

resource

-- have caregivers who provide accessible, appropriate support and

education resources

Visit http://www.aedweb.org/documents/WWcharter3.pdf for a copy of the full document.

The content for the Charter was drawn from the results of a web-based survey of families affected by eating disorders and health care professionals throughout the world undertaken in 2006. It can be used by families to identify high quality and appropriate services and to challenge substandard care, and to assist health care providers in developing and maintaining quality programs and services.

"The AED developed this Charter to help the families and providers who need it most," said Kelly Klump, M.D., and AED President. "The Charter is a significant step forward in promoting excellence in treatment for individuals with eating disorders and their families."

The Charter was launched nationally in the United States by the AED in Washington, D.C. in 2006. It is now supported by hundreds of organizations and individuals around the world. NEDA plans a state-by-state Charter rollout throughout the remainder of this year. Introduction of the Charter today in Washington coincides with the AED's International Conference on Eating Disorders being held this week in Seattle.

NEDA, headquartered in Seattle, supports families of those affected by eating disorders, and advocates for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Its Information and Referral Helpline (800-931-2237) and website (http://www.myneda.org) helps many millions of people every year by providing information and treatment referrals. AED promotes excellence in research, treatment and prevention of eating disorders. (http://www.aedweb.org)


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SOURCE National Eating Disorders Association
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