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Ostomate Bill of Rights

The United Ostomy Association (UOA), the predecessor organization to UOAA, produced a document in 1977 titled Ostomate Bill of Rights. In addition, the International Ostomy Association (IOA) prepared a somewhat similar document in 2004 titled Charter of Ostomates Rights. Both are displayed below.


Ostomate Bill of Rights

The Ostomate Bill of Rights was presented to UOA by the International Association of Enterostomal Therapists (now known as Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses) at the UOA House of Delegates Meeting during the Annual Conference in 1977.

It is our goal to inform ostomates that all elements of quality care should be available to them.

The ostomate shall:

  1. Be given pre-op counseling
  2. Have an appropriately positioned stoma site
  3. Have a well-constructed stoma
  4. Have skilled postoperative nursing care
  5. Have emotional support
  6. Have individual instruction
  7. Be informed on the availability of supplies
  8. Be provided with information on community resources
  9. Have post-hospital follow-up and life-long supervision
  10. Benefit from team efforts of health care professionals
  11. Be provided with information and counsel from the ostomy association and its members

Adopted by the United Ostomy Association House of Delegates at the UOA Annual Conference 1977.


Charter of Ostomates Rights

This Charter of Ostomates Rights presents the special needs of this particular group and the care they require. They have to receive the information and care which will enable them to live a self-determined and independent life and to participate in all decision making processes.

It is the declared objective of the International Ostomy Association that this CHARTER shall be realised in all Countries of the World.

The Ostomate shall:

  1. Receive pre-operative counselling to ensure that they are fully aware of the benefits of the operation and the essential facts about living with a stoma.
  2. Have a well-constructed stoma placed at an appropriate site, and with full and proper consideration to the comfort of the patient.
  3. Receive experienced and professional medical support, stoma nursing care and psychosocial support in the pre-operative and post-operative period both in hospital and in their community.
  4. Receive support and information for the benefit of the family, personal caregivers and friends to increase their understanding of the condition and adjustments which are necessary for achieving a satisfactory standard of life with a stoma.
  5. Receive full and impartial information about all relevant supplies and products available in their Country.
  6. Have unrestricted access to a variety of affordable Ostomy products.
  7. Be given information about their National Ostomy Association and the services and support which can be provided.
  8. Be protected against all forms of discrimination.

Issued by the IOA House of Delegates, September 2004.


Return to Ostomy Information home page.