Bill of Rights
1.Right to caring,humane medicaltreatment.
Self-injurers should receive the same level and quality of care that a person presenting with an identical but acciental injury would receive.Procedures should be done as gently as they would be for others.If stiches are required,local anesthesia should be used.Treatment of acidental injury and self injury should be treated identical.
2.The right to participate fully in decisions about emergancy treatment.
When a person presents at the emergancy room with a self-inflicted injury,his or her opinion about the need for a psychological assessment should be considered.If the person is not in obvious destress and is not suicidal,he or she should not be objected to an arduous psych evaluation.Doctors should be trained to assess suicdality/homicidality and should realize that referral for outpatient follow-up may be advisable,hospitalization for self-injurious behavior alone is rarley warranted.
3.The Right to Body Privacy.
Visual examinations to determine the extent and frequency of self-inflicted injury should be performed only when absolutely necessary and done in a way that maintains the patients dignity.Many who SI have been abused;the humiliation of a strip-search is likely to increase the amount of future self-injury while making the person subject to the searches look for better way to hide the marks.
4.The Right to Have Feelings Behind the Si Validated.
Self-injury doesn't occur in a vaccum.The person who self-injurers usually does so in response to distressing feelings,and those feelings should be recognized and validated.Although the care provider might not understand a particular situation is extremely,upsetting he or she can at least understand that it is distressing and respect the self-injurers right to be upset about it.
5.The Right to Disclose Whom They Choose Only What They Choose
No care provider should disclose to others that injures are self-inflicted without obtaining permission of the person involved.Exceptions can be made in the case of team-based hospital treatment or other medical care providers when the information the injures were self-inflicted is essential knowledge for proper medical care.Patients should be notified when others are told about their SI and as always,gossiping about any patient is unprofessional
6.The Right To Choose What Coping Mechanism They Will Use
No person should be forced to choose between self-injury or treatment.Outpatient therapists should never demand a patient to sign a no-harm contract;instead, client and provider should develop a plan for self-injurious impulses and acts during treatment.No patient should feel like they should have to lie about SI or get kicked out of outpatient therapy.Exceptions to this may be made in hospital or ER treatment,when a contract may be required by hospital legal policies.
7.The Right To Have Care Providers Who Do Not Let Their Feelings About Si Distort The Therapy
Those who work withclients who self-injure should keep their own fear,revulsion,anger and anxiety out of the therapeutic setting.This is crucial for basic medical care of self-inflicted wounds but holds for therapists as well.A person who is struggling with self-injury has enough baggage without taking prejudices and biases of their care providers.
8.The Right To Have The Role SI Validated As A Coping Mechanism
No one should be ashamed,admonished or chastised for having self-injured.Self-injury works as a coping mechanism sometimes for people who have no other way to cope.They may use SI as a last-ditch effort to avoid suicide.The self-injurer should be taught to honor the things self-injury has done him/her as well as reconqize the negative of Si outweigh those postives and that it is possible to learn methods of coping that aren't as distructive and life-interfering.
9.The Right Not To Be Automatically Considered A Dangerous Person Becuase Of Self-Inflicted Injury.
No one should be put in restraints or locked in a treatment room in an emergancy room solely because his or her injuries are self-inflicted.No one should ever be involuntairly commited  simply because of SI;physicians should only make the decision based on presence of pyschosis,suicidality or homcidiality.
10.The Right To Have Self-Injury Regarded As An Attempt To Communicate Not Manipulate
Most people who hurt themselves are trying to express things they can say in no other way.Although sometimes these attempts to communicate seem manipulative,treating them as manipulation only makes the situation worse.Providers should respect the communcative function of Si and assume it is not manipulative behavior until there is clear evidence on the contrary
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