Patient Bill of Rights


  •  to considerate and respectful care at all times, free from discrimination regardless of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, language, physical or mental disability, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, or ability to pay.
  • to have advance directives such as a Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and to have hospital and medical staff comply with these directives
  • to have an attending physician who is responsible for coordinating care and to participate in the development and implementation of the plan of care
  • to have complete and current information regarding diagnosis, treatment and known prognosis
  •  to receive information needed to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment which includes risks and alternatives, except in emergencies
  • to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences
  • to access information in your medical records within a reasonable timeframe and to have the information explained, except when contradicted by law
  • to privacy concerning medical treatment and personal privacy
  • to have all communications and records pertaining to care treated as confidential
  • to know that the hospital will respond reasonably to requests for services such as a transfer to another room or facility
  • to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service and to know which practitioner is primarily responsible for your care
  • to know the existence of any professional relations among caregivers as well as the relationship to any other healthcare or educational institutions involved in your care
  • to know if the hospital is going to engage in research affecting your care and treatment, and to refuse to participate in such research projects without its affecting hospital care
  • to have continuity of care; to be informed of any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge
  • to be informed of hospice services and eligibility criteria
  • to receive an itemized, detailed, and understandable explanation of charges
  • to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to your conduct
  • to have a guardian, reciprocal beneficiary*, or immediate family member stay with you 24 hours a day, if possible, if you are a child or are terminally ill
  • to have an interpreter, if a language barrier or hearing impairment presents a continuing problem to understanding care and treatment being provided
  • to file a grievance verbally or in writing or to have a personal representative do it
  • to have a family member or representative and your own physician notified promptly of your admission
  • to receive care in a safe setting and to be free from abuse and harassment
  • to be free from restraints of any form that are not clinically necessary or which are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by the staff.
  • to have pain assessment and management effectively


  • to ask the doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management; to ask for relief when pain first begins; to tell doctor or nurse if pain is not relieved; to tell doctor or nurse any worries you have about taking pain medication
  •  to provide accurate and complete information related to your health and to report unexpected changes in your condition to your physician and nurse
  • to ask questions if instructions are not clear
  • to follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician
  • to show consideration to other patients and staff that you  expect for yourself, and to cooperate with hospital regulations which have been designed for the safety and well-being of all our patients
  • to assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible, although your care at this hospital is not based on your ability to pay
  • to provide the hospital with information concerning the quality of care you receive during your stay
  • to notify the staff if any restraining orders are in effect from the court, or if there is any threat to you and/or staff.


  • If during your stay here you have a problem of any kind that is not dealt with to your satisfaction, after discussion with your attending physician, nurse, supervisor, or director, please feel free to contact the Patient Experience Coordinator who can be reached by calling 802-257-8315.
  • If you have a complaint about rights or any other issue, the healthcare practitioner will try to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, or if the issue or concern is beyond the scope of the health-care provider, the DRMSC will be notified. If the issue cannot be settled satisfactorily, the patient will be advised that a written grievance may be filed.
    1. The DRMSC will meet with the patient and render a written decision within two weeks of receiving the grievance when possible. The written notice will contain the steps taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, the date of completion, and the name of the person to whom the patient may appeal the decision.
    2. If the issue is not resolved, you may submit the written grievance to the Vice President of the area of concern within one week of the response. The Vice President will conduct an investigation and render a written decision within one week. The written notice will contain the steps taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, the date of completion, and the name of the person to whom the patient may appeal the decision.
    3. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may submit the written grievance to the President within one week. The President (or designee) will respond in writing within one week. The President or designee’s decision will be final. The written notice will contain the steps taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, the decision, and the fact that you may call the Vermont Board of Health or the Vermont Board of Medical Practice.
  •  The BMH Medical Ethics Committee and an Organizational Ethics Committee are available as forums for discussion of patients’ rights issues and organizational issues. Your physician or nurse will know how to contact the committees.
  • If you feel it is necessary to discuss your problem with someone outside the hospital, you may contact:

Vermont Board of Health and Board of Medical Practice

P.O. Box 70

Burlington, Vermont 05402

Telephone: 1-800-745-7371

Department of Disabilities and Aging & Independent Living, Division of Licensing and Protection

103 South Main St., Ladd Hall

Waterbury, VT 05611 – 2306

Telephone: 1-800-564-1612

For HIPAA-related issues, include DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services)

200 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, DC 20201