Your Patient Rights

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MacNeal Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care. We seek to provide care that goes beyond the treatment of your disease or disorder. We also treat the human spirit. Caring for your well-being is a collaborative effort between you and your MacNeal healthcare providers.

The Right to Receive Information in Language and Terms the Patient Can Understand

All patients have the right to understand what is being said about them and their care, treatment and services. That is effective communication — that is complete, current, accurate and presented in an understandable way. Effective communication lets patients participate more fully in their care, which in turn helps their health care team deliver quality care. To ensure effective communication, the hospital provides information in a manner tailored to each patient’s age, language and ability to understand. At MacNeal Hospital, this includes foreign language interpreting and translation when needed, as well as services for patients with vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments.

The Right to Participate in Care Decisions

Patients have the right to be involved in decisions about their care — the patient is a key member of the healthcare team. This includes the right to have:

  • The patient’s personal doctor promptly notified after admission to the hospital.

  • The right to involve the patient’s family in care, treatment and services.

  • The right to be informed about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services.

  • The right to refuse care, treatment and services (in accordance with the law and regulations).

When a patient is unable to make care decisions or to communicate his or her wishes, the patient’s legal representative is entitled to these rights as well.

The Right to Give or Withhold Informed Consent

All patients have the right to agree, or refuse, to undergo a medical or surgical procedure or treatment or to participate in research studies and clinical trials. Informed consent is the process through which the patient is able to make an informed decision about the recommended procedure, treatment or investigation. The process includes a discussion about the proposed procedure, treatment or investigation, the potential risks and benefits, the likelihood of success and possible alternatives.

When a patient is unable to make care decisions or sign an informed consent form, the patient’s legal representative is entitled to act on his or her behalf. Informed consent must also be obtained before the patient may be photographed, filmed or recorded for any hospital purpose.

The Right to Know Care Providers

All patients have the right to know the doctors and other healthcare professionals providing their care by name.

The Right to Participate in End-of-Life Decisions

Everyone has the right to make decisions about their end-of-life care and to document those wishes in an advance directive. The hospital is obligated to honor advance directives and wishes concerning organ donation. The hospital will provide information about advance directives through the Social Services Department.

Other Personal/Individual Rights

The hospital respects your personal rights:

  • To be treated with dignity in ways that support a positive self-image, including being allowed access to visitors, mail and telephone calls.

  • To have complaints respected and promptly reviewed by the hospital through an established complaint resolution process.

  • To be free from neglect, exploitation or verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse while in the hospital. The hospital is obligated by law to report any suspected neglect, exploitation or abuse to the appropriate authorities.

  • To access protective and advocacy services when necessary.

Patient Responsibilities

In addition to these important rights, patients also have responsibilities that will help ensure that they remain active participants in their own plan of care, treatment and services:

  • Provide all needed information.

  • Ask questions whenever something is not understood.

  • Follow instructions.

  • Accept the consequences of refusing treatment or not following instructions.

  • Follow hospital rules and regulations.

  • Show respect and consideration.

  • Acknowledge when he or she does not understand the treatment or care.

  • Meet financial responsibilities as promptly as possible.