According to (Jaworska & Tannenbaum, 2021), something has moral status if and only if it matters for its own sake. Thus, we have moral obligations to this being, while it has moral rights. Those obligations exist in virtue of its intrinsic properties.
A moral patient is often used synonymously with ‘moral status’.
Source: Jaworska, A. and Tannenbaum, J. (2021) ‘The Grounds of Moral Status’, in E.N. Zalta (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2021. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Available at: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2021/entries/grounds-moral-status/ (Accessed: 30 January 2023).