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 realized in all Countries of the World.

  • 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.
  • Have a well-constructed stoma placed at an appropriate site, and with full and proper consideration of the comfort of the patient.
  • 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.
  • Receive support and information for the benefit of the family, personal caregivers and friends to increase their understanding of the conditions and adjustments which are necessary for achieving a satisfactory standard of life with a stoma.
  • Receive full and impartial information about all relevant supplies and products available in their Country.
  • Have unrestricted access to a variety of affordable ostomy products.
  • Be given information about their National Ostomy Association and the services and support which can be provided
  • Receive assurance that personal information regarding their ostomy surgery will be treated with discretion and confidentiality to maintain privacy; and that no information about their medical condition will be disclosed by anyone possessing this information, to an entity that engages in the manufacture, sales or distribution of ostomy or related products; nor shall it be disclosed to any person that will benefit, directly or indirectly, because of their relation to the commercial ostomy market without the expressed consent of the ostomate.

Issued by the IOA Coordination Committee, June 1993. Revised by World Council, June 1997, 2004, 2007.