Patient Bill of Rights

As a patient, you have the right:

  • to have 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 your 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 time-frame and to have the information explained, except when contraindicated by law
  • to privacy concerning medical treatment and personal privacy. This includes the right to have, on request, another person present during a physical examination, treatment, or procedure performed by a health care professional; and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose for which you were asked to disrobe
  • 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 to you, 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 expect reasonable continuity of care; to be informed of any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge
  • to be informed in writing of the availability of hospice services and the eligibility criteria for those services
  • to receive an itemized, detailed, and understandable explanation of charges regardless of the source of payment
  • 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 problem understanding the care and treatment being provided
  • to have a family member or representative and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital
  • 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 staff
  • to have pain assessment and management effectively
  • to know the nurse staffing available to provide care in the hospital units
  • to designate visitors and the right to withdraw consent for designated visitors at any time. This may be limited at times due to individual clinical determinations
  • to file a complaint or grievance verbally or in writing.  To file a complaint, please contact the BMH Patient Experience Manager, 17 Belmont Avenue, Brattleboro, VT 05301, 802-257-8315.
  • to speak to someone outside the hospital regarding your concerns, including:

    Vermont Dept. of Health, Board of Medical Practice
    PO Box 70 • 108 Cherry Street
    Burlington, VT 05402 1-802-657-4220
    Fax: 802-657-4227

    Dept. of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living
    Division of Licensing and Protection
    HC 2 South • 280 State Drive Waterbury, VT 05671
    Main Phone: 1-802-241-2401 / 1-800-564-1612
    Licensing and Protection Phone: 1-802-241-0480
    Fax: 1-802-241-0383

    Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Ave. SW
    Washington, DC 20201
    Phone: 1-877-696-6775

    5700 Lombardo Center Dr, Suite 100
    Seven Hill, OH 44131
    Phone: 1-888-319-8452

    Health Care Advocate (HCA Hotline)
    Phone: 1-800-917-7787

As a patient, you are responsible:

  • to ask the doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management; to ask for relief when pain first begins; to tell your doctor or nurse if pain is not relieved; to tell your doctor or nurse any concerns you may 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 notify staff if any restraining orders are in effect from the court, or if there is any threat to you and/or staff
  • to provide the hospital with information concerning the quality of care you received during your stay
  • to keep your appointment or call as soon as possible to cancel
  • to observe safety regulations, including no tobacco policy