Patient Rights & Responsibilities
You have certain patient rights and responsibilities under federal and Connecticut state law as a patient. In this section, we have outlined these rights and responsibilities. Middlesex Health recognizes that certain patient groups, due to age, language or cultural barriers, hearing impairment, or mental disability, require assistance in understanding and exercising their rights. Middlesex Health is committed to interpreting patient rights for these individuals in a manner sensitive to the patient's needs.
Middlesex Health is committed to protecting the rights of all who seek care or services at any of our hospital, emergency, and outpatient sites. Therefore, we believe that you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities and offer a summary of them as follows:
- You have the right to be cared for, without discrimination, due to age, sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, income, education, national origin, ancestry, marital status, culture, language disability, gender identity, or who will pay the bill.
- You, or your designated representative, should expect we provide you with a notice of patient rights. This document serves that purpose.
- If you require or request this document in your language of choice, the hospital/health system will seek translation services or written patient rights in that language.
- If you are a Medicare inpatient, you will receive “An Important Message from Medicare” within two days of your admission.
- If you wish to file a grievance or complaint, we have a process in place.
- You may select any person of your choice to be notified promptly of your admission to the hospital. Additionally, we will attempt to share your discharge education with this person. We will also notify the physician of your choice.
- You or your designated representative have the right to actively participate in your care plan.
- This includes your treatment/care plan, pain management plan, and plan for discharge. You may refuse or request treatment, noting that the hospital/health system will not provide requested treatment that is medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
- You may develop advance directives and expect the hospital/health system staff and practitioners to comply with these directives. You can appoint almost any adult over 18 to be your agent for medical decision-making. An agent can be a family member, your spouse, a same-sex or domestic partner, an adult child, a friend, or someone you trust.
- You also have the right to designate a support person you define as the person you wish to support you during an inpatient stay.
- Your privacy and safety needs will be met by our staff at all times you are under our care. This includes your personal privacy needs and the privacy of your medical information and medical records.
- You may request your clinical records and expect to receive them within a reasonable timeframe.
- All patients have the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, including the use of restraints for that reason. Restraints or seclusion may be used only to protect the mediate physical safety of you, the staff, or other patients.
- Autopsy Notice: Connecticut state law requires that we inform you about autopsy rights as part of your patient bill of rights. The law provides that your legal next of kin has the right, upon your death, to consent to or refuse an autopsy. If an autopsy is desired, your legal next of kin may:
- Have the autopsy conducted at Middlesex Hospital by Connecticut Pathology Group.
- Have the autopsy conducted at Middlesex Hospital by a qualified pathologist not affiliated with Middlesex Health. This must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin.
- Have the autopsy conducted at another facility. This must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin.
In addition to respecting patients’ rights, we also encourage patients to understand their responsibilities. By taking an active role in your health care, you can help your caregivers meet your needs as a patient or family member. That is why we ask that you and your family share with us certain responsibilities.
We ask that you:
- Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain, pain management, and pain relief measures; work with your doctor and nurse to develop a pain management plan; ask for pain relief when pain first begins; help your doctor and nurse assess your pain; tell your doctor and nurse if your pain is not relieved; tell your doctor and nurse about any worries you have about taking pain medication.
- Take sensible precautions to keep healthy and use the advice and information made available for this purpose.
- Safeguard any valuables that may be kept at the bedside.
- Actively participate in educational programs and teaching relevant to your condition/diagnosis as deemed appropriate by the professional caregiver(s).
- Inform your physician and nurse of any medications you have brought to the Hospital and answer their questions openly and honestly. Information about your past health history is an important part of current care and should be discussed with the doctor.
- Arrive at appointments promptly or, if they must be canceled or postponed, notify the Hospital as soon as possible.
An Advance Directive is a legal document that states your wishes regarding your health care should you suddenly become unable to make decisions for yourself. This documentation can take the form of a Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Health Care Agent, or Organ Donation.
Your family, physician, and the Hospital must be made aware of your desires for health care. Then, after considering your values, religious beliefs, and the quality of life you wish to maintain, you may decide to make an Advance Directive such as a Living Will. This can be done at little or no cost and give you peace of mind.
You will be asked for a copy of your Advance Directives upon admission to the hospital.
Suppose you would like more information about Advance Directives, a brochure, or would like to speak privately with a health care professional about any of these matters. In that case, you may contact the Social Work Office at Middlesex Hospital at 860-358-6162.
At Middlesex Health’s Pregnancy & Birth Center, we are honored and privileged to share your birth experience with you and your family.