Religion: A set of beliefs concerning the nature, cause, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency. It usually involves devotional and ritual observances and often a moral code for the conduct of human affairs. (Random House Collegiate Dictionary, rev. ed.)Religion and Medicine: The interrelationship of medicine and religion.Religion and Psychology: The interrelationship of psychology and religion.Christianity: The religion stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ: the religion that believes in God as the Father Almighty who works redemptively through the Holy Spirit for men's salvation and that affirms Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who proclaimed to man the gospel of salvation. (From Webster, 3d ed)Judaism: The religion of the Jews characterized by belief in one God and in the mission of the Jews to teach the Fatherhood of God as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Webster, 3d ed)Spirituality: Sensitivity or attachment to religious values, or to things of the spirit as opposed to material or worldly interests. (from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed, and Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed)Islam: A monotheistic religion promulgated by the Prophet Mohammed with Allah as the deity.Hospitals, Religious: Private hospitals that are owned or sponsored by religious organizations.Catholicism: The Christian faith, practice, or system of the Catholic Church, specifically the Roman Catholic, the Christian church that is characterized by a hierarchic structure of bishops and priests in which doctrinal and disciplinary authority are dependent upon apostolic succession, with the pope as head of the episcopal college. (From Webster, 3d ed; American Heritage Dictionary, 2d college ed)Buddhism: The teaching ascribed to Gautama Buddha (ca. 483 B.C.) holding that suffering is inherent in life and that one can escape it into nirvana by mental and moral self-purification. (Webster, 3d ed)Hospitals, Teaching: Hospitals engaged in educational and research programs, as well as providing medical care to the patients.Protestantism: The name given to all Christian denominations, sects, or groups rising out of the Reformation. Protestant churches generally agree that the principle of authority should be the Scriptures rather than the institutional church or the pope. (from W.L. Reese, Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, 1999)Religion and SexHospitals, General: Large hospitals with a resident medical staff which provides continuous care to maternity, surgical and medical patients.Hospitals, University: Hospitals maintained by a university for the teaching of medical students, postgraduate training programs, and clinical research.Hinduism: A complex body of social, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices evolved in and largely confined to the Indian subcontinent and marked by a caste system, an outlook tending to view all forms and theories as aspects of one eternal being and truth, and the practice of the way of works, the way of knowledge, or the way of devotion as a means of release from the round of rebirths. (From Webster, 3d ed)Hospital Costs: The expenses incurred by a hospital in providing care. The hospital costs attributed to a particular patient care episode include the direct costs plus an appropriate proportion of the overhead for administration, personnel, building maintenance, equipment, etc. Hospital costs are one of the factors which determine HOSPITAL CHARGES (the price the hospital sets for its services).Clergy: Persons ordained for religious duties, who serve as leaders and perform religious services.Theology: The study of religion and religious belief, or a particular system or school of religious beliefs and teachings (from online Cambridge Dictionary of American English, 2000 and WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database, 1997)Hospitals, Urban: Hospitals located in metropolitan areas.Nursing Staff, Hospital: Personnel who provide nursing service to patients in a hospital.Ceremonial Behavior: A series of actions, sometimes symbolic actions which may be associated with a behavior pattern, and are often indispensable to its performance.Economics, Hospital: Economic aspects related to the management and operation of a hospital.Hospitals, Pediatric: Special hospitals which provide care for ill children.Pastoral Care: Counseling or comfort given by ministers, priests, rabbis, etc., to those in need of help with emotional problems or stressful situations.Hospital Bed Capacity: The number of beds which a hospital has been designed and constructed to contain. It may also refer to the number of beds set up and staffed for use.Hospitals, Special: Hospitals which provide care for a single category of illness with facilities and staff directed toward a specific service.Hospitals, District: Government-controlled hospitals which represent the major health facility for a designated geographic area.Spiritual Therapies: Mystical, religious, or spiritual practices performed for health benefit.Hospitals, Private: A class of hospitals that includes profit or not-for-profit hospitals that are controlled by a legal entity other than a government agency. (Hospital Administration Terminology, AHA, 2d ed)Financial Management, Hospital: The obtaining and management of funds for hospital needs and responsibility for fiscal affairs.Emergency Service, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of immediate medical or surgical care to the emergency patient.Length of Stay: The period of confinement of a patient to a hospital or other health facility.Hospital Planning: Areawide planning for hospitals or planning of a particular hospital unit on the basis of projected consumer need. This does not include hospital design and construction or architectural plans.Hospital Charges: The prices a hospital sets for its services. HOSPITAL COSTS (the direct and indirect expenses incurred by the hospital in providing the services) are one factor in the determination of hospital charges. Other factors may include, for example, profits, competition, and the necessity of recouping the costs of uncompensated care.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Hospital Departments: Major administrative divisions of the hospital.Hospitalization: The confinement of a patient in a hospital.Hospitals, Psychiatric: Special hospitals which provide care to the mentally ill patient.Jehovah's Witnesses: Members of a religious denomination founded in the United States during the late 19th century in which active evangelism is practiced, the imminent approach of the millennium is preached, and war and organized government authority in matters of conscience are strongly opposed (from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). Jehovah's Witnesses generally refuse blood transfusions and other blood-based treatments based on religious belief.Magic: Beliefs and practices concerned with producing desired results through supernatural forces or agents as with the manipulation of fetishes or rituals.Hospital Records: Compilations of data on hospital activities and programs; excludes patient medical records.Hospital Units: Those areas of the hospital organization not considered departments which provide specialized patient care. They include various hospital special care wards.Religion and ScienceUnited StatesCulture: A collective expression for all behavior patterns acquired and socially transmitted through symbols. Culture includes customs, traditions, and language.Spiritualism: Religious philosophy expressing the fundamental belief that departed spirits may be contacted by the living through a medium.Adaptation, Psychological: A state of harmony between internal needs and external demands and the processes used in achieving this condition. (From APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed)Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.Equipment and Supplies, Hospital: Any materials used in providing care specifically in the hospital.Libraries, Hospital: Information centers primarily serving the needs of hospital medical staff and sometimes also providing patient education and other services.Morals: Standards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.Dissent and Disputes: Differences of opinion or disagreements that may arise, for example, between health professionals and patients or their families, or against a political regime.Attitude to Death: Conceptual response of the person to the various aspects of death, which are based on individual psychosocial and cultural experience.Surgery Department, Hospital: Hospital department which administers all departmental functions and the provision of surgical diagnostic and therapeutic services.Patient Admission: The process of accepting patients. The concept includes patients accepted for medical and nursing care in a hospital or other health care institution.Patient Discharge: The administrative process of discharging the patient, alive or dead, from hospitals or other health facilities.Secularism: Indifference to, or rejection of, RELIGION or religious considerations. (From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed)Hospitals, County: Hospitals controlled by the county government.Outpatient Clinics, Hospital: Organized services in a hospital which provide medical care on an outpatient basis.Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and overProspective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.American Hospital Association: A professional society in the United States whose membership is composed of hospitals.Philosophy: A love or pursuit of wisdom. A search for the underlying causes and principles of reality. (Webster, 3d ed)Suicide, Assisted: Provision (by a physician or other health professional, or by a family member or friend) of support and/or means that gives a patient the power to terminate his or her own life. (from APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed).Hospitals, Municipal: Hospitals controlled by the city government.Mental Healing: The use of mind to cure disease, particularly physical illness.Food Service, Hospital: Hospital department that manages and supervises the dietary program in accordance with the patients' requirements.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Hospital Information Systems: Integrated, computer-assisted systems designed to store, manipulate, and retrieve information concerned with the administrative and clinical aspects of providing medical services within the hospital.Cross Infection: Any infection which a patient contracts in a health-care institution.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the administration and management of services provided for obstetric and gynecologic patients.Faith Healing: The use of faith and spirit to cure disease.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Inpatients: Persons admitted to health facilities which provide board and room, for the purpose of observation, care, diagnosis or treatment.Cultural Diversity: Coexistence of numerous distinct ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural groups within one social unit, organization, or population. (From American Heritage Dictionary, 2d college ed., 1982, p955)Social Values: Abstract standards or empirical variables in social life which are believed to be important and/or desirable.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Treatment Refusal: Patient or client refusal of or resistance to medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment. (APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed.)Life Support Care: Care provided patients requiring extraordinary therapeutic measures in order to sustain and prolong life.Hospitals, Maternity: Special hospitals which provide care to women during pregnancy and parturition.Ethics, Medical: The principles of professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of the physician, relations with patients and fellow practitioners, as well as actions of the physician in patient care and interpersonal relations with patient families.Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.IsraelDiagnosis-Related Groups: A system for classifying patient care by relating common characteristics such as diagnosis, treatment, and age to an expected consumption of hospital resources and length of stay. Its purpose is to provide a framework for specifying case mix and to reduce hospital costs and reimbursements and it forms the cornerstone of the prospective payment system.Patient Readmission: Subsequent admissions of a patient to a hospital or other health care institution for treatment.Nursing Service, Hospital: The hospital department which is responsible for the organization and administration of nursing activities.Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice: Knowledge, attitudes, and associated behaviors which pertain to health-related topics such as PATHOLOGIC PROCESSES or diseases, their prevention, and treatment. This term refers to non-health workers and health workers (HEALTH PERSONNEL).Interviews as Topic: Conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews.Hospital Shared Services: Cooperation among hospitals for the purpose of sharing various departmental services, e.g., pharmacy, laundry, data processing, etc.Euthanasia: The act or practice of killing or allowing death from natural causes, for reasons of mercy, i.e., in order to release a person from incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or undignified death. (from Beauchamp and Walters, Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 5th ed)Laboratories, Hospital: Hospital facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Attitude of Health Personnel: Attitudes of personnel toward their patients, other professionals, toward the medical care system, etc.Circumcision, Female: A general term encompassing three types of excision of the external female genitalia - Sunna, clitoridectomy, and infibulation. It is associated with severe health risks and has been declared illegal in many places, but continues to be widely practiced in a number of countries, particularly in Africa.Terminal Care: Medical and nursing care of patients in the terminal stage of an illness.Trinidad and Tobago: An independent state in the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, north of Venezuela, comprising the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Its capital is Port of Spain. Both islands were discovered by Columbus in 1498. The Spanish, English, Dutch, and French figure in their history over four centuries. Trinidad and Tobago united in 1898 and were made part of the British colony of Trinidad and Tobago in 1899. The colony became an independent state in 1962. Trinidad was so named by Columbus either because he arrived on Trinity Sunday or because three mountain peaks suggested the Holy Trinity. Tobago was given the name by Columbus from the Haitian tambaku, pipe, from the natives' habit of smoking tobacco leaves. (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1228, 1216 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p555, 547)Advance Care Planning: Discussions with patients and/or their representatives about the goals and desired direction of the patient's care, particularly end-of-life care, in the event that the patient is or becomes incompetent to make decisions.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Health Care Surveys: Statistical measures of utilization and other aspects of the provision of health care services including hospitalization and ambulatory care.Cardiology Service, Hospital: The hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services for the cardiac patient.Conscience: The cognitive and affective processes which constitute an internalized moral governor over an individual's moral conduct.Data Collection: Systematic gathering of data for a particular purpose from various sources, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, existing records, and electronic devices. The process is usually preliminary to statistical analysis of the data.Social Support: Support systems that provide assistance and encouragement to individuals with physical or emotional disabilities in order that they may better cope. Informal social support is usually provided by friends, relatives, or peers, while formal assistance is provided by churches, groups, etc.Hospital Bed Capacity, under 100Occultism: The belief in or study of practices and knowledge of magical, mystical, or supernatural powers. ALCHEMY, astrology, and many RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHIES are based upon occult principles.EnglandQuality of Health Care: The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.Personal Autonomy: Self-directing freedom and especially moral independence. An ethical principle holds that the autonomy of persons ought to be respected. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Socioeconomic Factors: Social and economic factors that characterize the individual or group within the social structure.Hospital Bed Capacity, 100 to 299Physicians: Individuals licensed to practice medicine.Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Cultural Characteristics: Those aspects or characteristics which identify a culture.Hospitals, Military: Hospitals which provide care for the military personnel and usually for their dependents.Incidence: The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A group of religious bodies tracing their origin to Joseph Smith in 1830 and accepting the Book of Mormon as divine revelation. (from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed)Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.BrazilAttitude to Health: Public attitudes toward health, disease, and the medical care system.Bed Occupancy: A measure of inpatient health facility use based upon the average number or proportion of beds occupied for a given period of time.Hospitals, AnimalWomen's Rights: The rights of women to equal status pertaining to social, economic, and educational opportunities afforded by society.LebanonPrevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Hospitals, Veterans: Hospitals providing medical care to veterans of wars.African Americans: Persons living in the United States having origins in any of the black groups of Africa.Tertiary Care Centers: A medical facility which provides a high degree of subspecialty expertise for patients from centers where they received SECONDARY CARE.Religious Philosophies: Sets of beliefs on the nature of the universe or Man.Resuscitation Orders: Instructions issued by a physician pertaining to the institution, continuation, or withdrawal of life support measures. The concept includes policies, laws, statutes, decisions, guidelines, and discussions that may affect the issuance of such orders.Nigeria: A republic in western Africa, south of NIGER between BENIN and CAMEROON. Its capital is Abuja.Anti-Bacterial Agents: Substances that reduce the growth or reproduction of BACTERIA.Outcome Assessment (Health Care): Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).Regression Analysis: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.Netherlands: Country located in EUROPE. It is bordered by the NORTH SEA, BELGIUM, and GERMANY. Constituent areas are Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, formerly included in the NETHERLANDS ANTILLES.History, 16th Century: Time period from 1501 through 1600 of the common era.Health Facility Size: The physical space or dimensions of a facility. Size may be indicated by bed capacity.Qualitative Research: Any type of research that employs nonnumeric information to explore individual or group characteristics, producing findings not arrived at by statistical procedures or other quantitative means. (Qualitative Inquiry: A Dictionary of Terms Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1997)Sex Factors: Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.Purchasing, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the purchasing of supplies and equipment.Medical Futility: The absence of a useful purpose or useful result in a diagnostic procedure or therapeutic intervention. The situation of a patient whose condition will not be improved by treatment or instances in which treatment preserves permanent unconsciousness or cannot end dependence on intensive medical care. (From Ann Intern Med 1990 Jun 15;112(12):949)Great BritainPremarital Examinations: Medical tests taken by couples planning to be married in order to determine presence of genetic and contagious diseases.Malaysia: A parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch in southeast Asia, consisting of 11 states (West Malaysia) on the Malay Peninsula and two states (East Malaysia) on the island of BORNEO. It is also called the Federation of Malaysia. Its capital is Kuala Lumpur. Before 1963 it was the Union of Malaya. It reorganized in 1948 as the Federation of Malaya, becoming independent from British Malaya in 1957 and becoming Malaysia in 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore (which seceded in 1965). The form Malay- probably derives from the Tamil malay, mountain, with reference to its geography. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p715 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p329)Intensive Care Units: Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to acutely ill patients.History, 15th Century: Time period from 1401 through 1500 of the common era.Medical Audit: A detailed review and evaluation of selected clinical records by qualified professional personnel for evaluating quality of medical care.IndiaValue of Life: The intrinsic moral worth ascribed to a living being. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Patient Transfer: Interfacility or intrahospital transfer of patients. Intrahospital transfer is usually to obtain a specific kind of care and interfacility transfer is usually for economic reasons as well as for the type of care provided.Stereotyping: An oversimplified perception or conception especially of persons, social groups, etc.Costs and Cost Analysis: Absolute, comparative, or differential costs pertaining to services, institutions, resources, etc., or the analysis and study of these costs.CaliforniaNurseries, Hospital: Hospital facilities which provide care for newborn infants.Medicare: Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XVIII-Health Insurance for the Aged, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of two separate but coordinated programs: hospital insurance (MEDICARE PART A) and supplementary medical insurance (MEDICARE PART B). (Hospital Administration Terminology, AHA, 2d ed and A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, US House of Representatives, 1976)Psychiatric Department, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the organization and administration of psychiatric services.Ownership: The legal relation between an entity (individual, group, corporation, or-profit, secular, government) and an object. The object may be corporeal, such as equipment, or completely a creature of law, such as a patent; it may be movable, such as an animal, or immovable, such as a building.Postoperative Complications: Pathologic processes that affect patients after a surgical procedure. They may or may not be related to the disease for which the surgery was done, and they may or may not be direct results of the surgery.Freedom: The rights of individuals to act and make decisions without external constraints.Health Services Research: The integration of epidemiologic, sociological, economic, and other analytic sciences in the study of health services. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services. The aim of the research is evaluation, particularly in terms of structure, process, output, and outcome. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Intuition: Knowing or understanding without conscious use of reasoning. (Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors, 1994)Jews: An ethnic group with historical ties to the land of ISRAEL and the religion of JUDAISM.Housekeeping, Hospital: Hospital department which manages and provides the required housekeeping functions in all areas of the hospital.Quality Indicators, Health Care: Norms, criteria, standards, and other direct qualitative and quantitative measures used in determining the quality of health care.Oncology Service, Hospital: The hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services for the cancer patient.Anthropology, Cultural: It is the study of social phenomena which characterize the learned, shared, and transmitted social activities of particular ethnic groups with focus on the causes, consequences, and complexities of human social and cultural variability.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.SikkimPregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Christian Science: A religion founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866 that was organized under the official name of the Church of Christ, Scientist. It includes the practice of spiritual healing.Disease Outbreaks: Sudden increase in the incidence of a disease. The concept includes EPIDEMICS and PANDEMICS.Surgical Procedures, Operative: Operations carried out for the correction of deformities and defects, repair of injuries, and diagnosis and cure of certain diseases. (Taber, 18th ed.)Withholding Treatment: Withholding or withdrawal of a particular treatment or treatments, often (but not necessarily) life-prolonging treatment, from a patient or from a research subject as part of a research protocol. The concept is differentiated from REFUSAL TO TREAT, where the emphasis is on the health professional's or health facility's refusal to treat a patient or group of patients when the patient or the patient's representative requests treatment. Withholding of life-prolonging treatment is usually indexed only with EUTHANASIA, PASSIVE, unless the distinction between withholding and withdrawing treatment, or the issue of withholding palliative rather than curative treatment, is discussed.Physician's Role: The expected function of a member of the medical profession.SwitzerlandHealth Services Accessibility: The degree to which individuals are inhibited or facilitated in their ability to gain entry to and to receive care and services from the health care system. Factors influencing this ability include geographic, architectural, transportational, and financial considerations, among others.Utilization Review: An organized procedure carried out through committees to review admissions, duration of stay, professional services furnished, and to evaluate the medical necessity of those services and promote their most efficient use.Superstitions: A belief or practice which lacks adequate basis for proof; an embodiment of fear of the unknown, magic, and ignorance.Referral and Consultation: The practice of sending a patient to another program or practitioner for services or advice which the referring source is not prepared to provide.Civil Rights: Legal guarantee protecting the individual from attack on personal liberties, right to fair trial, right to vote, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. (from http://www.usccr.gov/ accessed 1/31/2003)Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Democracy: A system of government in which there is free and equal participation by the people in the political decision-making process.Delusions: A false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts, and is not considered tenable by one's associates.Patient Satisfaction: The degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial.Paternalism: Interference with the FREEDOM or PERSONAL AUTONOMY of another person, with justifications referring to the promotion of the person's good or the prevention of harm to the person. (from Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995); more generally, not allowing a person to make decisions on his or her own behalf.Personhood: The state or condition of being a human individual accorded moral and/or legal rights. Criteria to be used to determine this status are subject to debate, and range from the requirement of simply being a human organism to such requirements as that the individual be self-aware and capable of rational thought and moral agency.Missions and Missionaries: To be used for articles pertaining to medical activities carried out by personnel in institutions which are administered by a religious organization.Quality of Life: A generic concept reflecting concern with the modification and enhancement of life attributes, e.g., physical, political, moral and social environment; the overall condition of a human life.Legal Guardians: A legal concept for individuals who are designated to act on behalf of persons who are considered incapable of acting in their own behalf, e.g., minors and persons found to be not mentally competent.Emergency Medical Services: Services specifically designed, staffed, and equipped for the emergency care of patients.Decision Making: The process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea.Age Distribution: The frequency of different ages or age groups in a given population. The distribution may refer to either how many or what proportion of the group. The population is usually patients with a specific disease but the concept is not restricted to humans and is not restricted to medicine.Health Facility Merger: The combining of administrative and organizational resources of two or more health care facilities.Medical Records: Recording of pertinent information concerning patient's illness or illnesses.Medication Systems, Hospital: Overall systems, traditional or automated, to provide medication to patients in hospitals. Elements of the system are: handling the physician's order, transcription of the order by nurse and/or pharmacist, filling the medication order, transfer to the nursing unit, and administration to the patient.Refusal to Treat: Refusal of the health professional to initiate or continue treatment of a patient or group of patients. The refusal can be based on any reason. The concept is differentiated from PATIENT REFUSAL OF TREATMENT see TREATMENT REFUSAL which originates with the patient and not the health professional.Mysticism: A philosophy based upon spiritual intuition that is believed to transcend ordinary sensory experiences or understanding.Hospitals, Chronic Disease: Hospitals which provide care to patients with long-term illnesses.Palliative Care: Care alleviating symptoms without curing the underlying disease. (Stedman, 25th ed)Right to Die: The right of the patient or the patient's representative to make decisions with regard to the patient's dying.