Patient Rights and Responsibilities
At St. John Hospital we strive to treat all patients equally and impartially, with understanding and compassion reflecting our concern for the dignity of human life. As a patient here, you have certain rights and responsibilities, which are outlined below. These apply equally to all patients and to parents or legal guardians of children (including newborns), adolescents and psychiatric patients.
If you are unhappy with your treatment or the service provided, please let our staff know. You may present grievances or recommend changes without fear of discrimination or reprisal. If your concerns are not addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner, contact the Patient Relations department at (313) 343-3349 for further assistance.
- You have the right to considerate and respectful care.
- You are entitled to information about your medical condition, proposed course of treatment, prospects for recovery, and continuing health needs. You have a right to this information in terms that you understand, so that you are adequately informed when you consent to treatment. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to you, the information should be made available to an appropriate person on your behalf. Where appropriate, you may participate in planning the course of treatment and discharge. You are also entitled to know medically significant alternatives to your care or treatment.
- You have the right to refuse treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of that refusal. If your refusal conflicts with our ethical and professional standards of care, then we may discharge or transfer you upon reasonable notice. We will not transfer you to another facility without giving you a complete explanation of the need for transfer and possible alternatives. The institution to which you would be transferred must first accept you as a patient transfer.
- You have the right to know whether the treatment provided is experimental. You have the right to refuse any experimental treatment. If you refuse any course of treatment, your quality of care will not be jeopardized.
- You are entitled to know the identity, relationship and professional status of those providing care to you. Because this is a teaching hospital, some of your care may be provided by residents, interns or the other students under the direction and close supervision of a physician or other health professional.
- You have the right to be free from physical or chemical restraints except in an emergency or when ordered by your physician to protect you from injury to yourself or others.
- To the extent reasonably possible, you have a right to privacy during consultation, treatment and attendance to personal needs. You may refuse to talk with or see anyone not directly involved with your care. You may wear personal clothing and religious items unless they interfere with diagnostic procedure or treatment. You may request transfer to another room if a patient or visitor in your rooms disturbs you unreasonably.
- You have the right to communicate in private with your physician, attorney, or any other person. Your personal mail will be delivered unopened on the same day it was received. You have the right to an interpreter, if necessary, and you may participate in social, religious and community activities unless participation is medically unwise.
- You have the right to inspect or, for a reasonable fee, to receive a copy of your medical record. Your personal and medical records are confidential, and you may refuse to consent to their release except as required by your transfer to another health care facility, by law or for third-party reimbursement.
- You can expect to be asked about your pain, to be informed about pain relief measures available, and cared for by a committed staff concerned with preventing the pain. Your reports of pain will be believed and health professionals will try to report quickly to your reports of pain. Your doctor will use appropriate methods to deal with your pain with reasonable access to specialist who are dedicated to pain relief.
- You are entitled to exercise all of your rights as a patient and as a citizen; however, you are also responsible for adhering to hospital rules for your protection and the protection of other patients.
- You must provide us with a complete and accurate medical history and current information relating to your health. We cannot adequately treat your illness or injury unless you tell us what is wrong and notify us of any significant changes in your condition.
- If you have a question or concern about a contemplated course of treatment, you must ask your physician or nurse for more information. Otherwise we assume that you understand your plan of treatment and have given an informed consent.
- You have the responsibility to follow the schedule of testing and treatment when possible. If you refuse treatment or refuse to follow the plan of treatment recommended by your physician, you do so at your own risk, and we are not responsible for the consequences.
- You must be considerate of the rights of other patients, hospital personnel and property. If you have any questions about our rules and regulations, you may ask your nurse or the admitting department for more information.
- You are ultimately responsible for assuring that all financial obligations for the health care provided are met as promptly as possible.
- We expect that you will ask your doctor or nurse what to expect with painful procedures, to cooperate with your doctor and nurse when they discuss pain relief options and when they try to design a pain relief plan with you. You have the responsibility to help the doctor and nurse measure your pain by using a pain measurement scale that may be provided and by letting them know what is an acceptable pain level.
- You have the responsibility to ask for pain relief when your pain first begins, to tell the doctor or nurse about any pain that will not go away, and to discuss any fear of addictions with your doctor or nurse.
Ethics and Human Values Committee
St. John recognizes that complex ethical questions often arise in the health care environment. The Ethics and Human Values Committee was formed to support patients, families and caregivers as they work together to find solutions to these difficult problems. The committee is an interdisciplinary group composed of both health care professionals and community representatives. The committee aims to serve as a forum for discussion of ethical concerns to foster bioethics education and to assist in the formulation of hospital policy on bioethical issues.
If you have an ethical concern regarding your health care, you are invited to request a consultation by calling (313) 343-3314.