Patient Rights


We are partners in each patient’s healthcare. When a patient is well-informed, participates in treatment decisions, and communicates openly with his/her doctor and other health professionals, the most responsive and effective healthcare is possible. St. Joseph’s Hospital encourages respect for the personal preferences of each individual.

The patient has a right to considerate and respectful care, including consideration of psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables which influence their perception of illness.

The patient has the right to moral and spiritual help from the hospital’s Pastoral Care staff, or their personal clergy as available in their quest for health of mind and spirit.

The patient has the right, and is encouraged, to obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Except in emergencies when the patient lacks decision-making capacity and the need for treatment is urgent, they are entitled to the opportunity to discuss and request information related to specific procedures and/or treatments with the related risks involved, possible length of recuperation, and reasonable alternatives including their accompanying risks and benefits.

The patient has the right to know the identity of physicians, nurses, and others involved in their care. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known.

The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment, and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy, and to be informed of the medical consequences of his/her action. In a case of such refusal, the patient is entitled to other appropriate care and services that the hospital provides or to be transferred to another hospital. The hospital should notify patients of any policy which might affect patient choice within the institution.

The patient has the right to have an Advance Directive (such as a living will, healthcare proxy, or durable power of attorney for healthcare). These documents express choices about future care or identify a person who can make decisions on the patient’s behalf. If the patient has a written Advance Directive, it should be provided to his/her family, the hospital, and the physician.

The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should be conducted in a manner that protects each patient’s privacy.

The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to their care will be treated as confidential by the hospital except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law. The patient has the right to expect the hospital will maintain the confidentiality of this information when it is released to any other parties entitled to review information in the patient’s records.

The patient has the right to review his/her medical records and to have information explained, except when restricted by law. The patient has the right to expect that records will be made available within a reasonable time frame.

The patient has the right to expect that, within its capacity and policies, the hospital will make a
reasonable response to the request of a patient for appropriate and medically-indicated care and services. The hospital must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of care. When medically-appropriate and legally permissible, or when a patient has so requested, a patient may be transferred to another facility. The receiving institution must first have accepted the patient for transfer. The patient must also have the benefit of complete information and explanation concerning the need, risks, benefits, and alternatives to such a transfer.

The patient has the right to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, and other healthcare providers or payors who may influence the patient’s treatment and care.

The patient has the right to consent or decline participation in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement and to have those studies fully explained prior to consent. A patient who declines to participate in research or experimentation is entitled to the most effective care that the hospital can otherwise provide.
The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate, and to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.

The patient has the right to optimal comfort and dignity.

The patient has the right to a secure and safe environment, free from all forms of abuse and harassment.

Information and access to protective services is available upon request.

The patient has the right to freedom from restraint in the provision of acute medical/surgical care, and behavioral management, unless clinically necessary. The patient has the right to be informed of hospital policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment and responsibilities.

The dying patient has the right to comfort and dignity through identification and appropriate treatment of primary and secondary symptoms that can respond to treatment, if treatment is desired by the patient or surrogate; through establishment of a pain assessment process that results in aggressive management of pain; and through assessment of psychosocial and coping mechanisms utilized by the patient and family and appropriate support for the patient and family in the grief process.

The patient has the right to participate in the consideration of spiritual and ethical issues regarding their care. An Ethics Committee is available to act as a resource in addressing these issues.

The patient has the right to pain relief.

The patient has the right to obtain information about the hospital’s mechanism for the initiation, review, and resolution of patient complaints. In the event the complaint is of a nature which the individual feels merits further action, the Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline can be reached by dialing 1-800-252- 4343.