Through our exceptional health
care services, we reveal
the healing presence of God.

Patient Rights & Responsibilities 
As a patient, you and your family are key members of your Health Care Team. You will receive quality, safe care within the range of services that the hospital provides.


You have the right to:


    • Receive care without being discriminated against because of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin, culture, or ability to pay.
    • Request spiritual and cultural services
    • Practice and seek advice about your cultural, spiritual, and ethical beliefs, as long as this does not interfere with the well-being of others.
    • Request a consult from the Ethics Task Team to help with difficult healthcare decisions.


    • Be treated with respect and dignity in private and confidential manner.
    • Designate the name by which you choose to be addressed.
    • Decide who has access to your medical records.
    • Remain anonymous during your hospital stay if you so choose.
    • Take part in decisions about blocking visitors, mail or phone calls.
    • Be protected from abuse, neglect, and harassment.
    • Be free from seclusion or restraints unless medically necessary or needed to keep you or others safe.
    • Expect a safe environment, including the safe keeping of your clothes and other items.

Directing Your Care:

    • Have an interpreter to help you understand medical and financial information.
    • Know the names and roles of hospital staff caring for you and make decisions about whether students or those not employed by St. Mary's are involved in your care.
    • Be informed of all consultations with other physicians and professionals and be able to request a second opinion or a consulting physician.
    • Receive pain assessment and management.
    • Complete an Advance Directive (Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or Delcaration to Physician/Living Will) that states your wishes and values for health care decisions when you cannot speak for yourself, which will be honored to the extent allowed by hospital policy and law.
    • Leave the hospital against the physician's advice, regardless of your condition after signing a release form. The hospital and physician, however, are not responsible for any harm that may result.

Continuity of Care:

    • Have your family and doctor informed of your admission to the hospital.
    • Participate in planning for your discharge, including decisions about your care, choice of agencies, or the need for an extended care facility.
    • Receive written information about your medication and discharge instructions.

Informed Consent/Refusing Care:

    • Be informed of the hospital's policies about your rights and health care.
    • Be informed about your health problems, treatment options, and likely outcome so you can take part in decisions about your care and discharge planning.
    • Receive information about the outcome of your care, including unanticipated outcomes, and to have your questions and concerns addressed by the physician, nursing staff, or others as appropriate.
    • Request, accept, and/or refuse treatment as allowed by hospital policy and the law.
    • Give informed consent in writing prior to any treatment or procedure, except in an emergency. An informed consent includes an explanation of treatment and procedures, significant risks, the probability of success, and any reasonably appropriate alternative treatment or procedure.
    • Give consent or refuse to be involved in research studies.

End of Life:

    • Receive compassionate care at the end of life.
    • Donate, request, or refuse organ and tissue donations.


    • Share concerns about your care and receive a timely response and resolution.
    • The following are options by which you can share your concerns:
      1. Talk with your nurse or doctor.
      2. Talk with the charge nurse, unit/department director and/or nursing supervisor.
      3. Fill out a Patient Feedback Form, located in patient rooms and waiting areas. Staff will assist if needed.
      4. Call the Patient and Family Feedback Line (608) 259-5588.
      5. Call the Switchboard by dialing "0" and ask to speak with an Administrator.

If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, located at 1 West Wilson Street, Room 1050, Madison, WI 53703, (phone 608-267-1443) and/or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 (phone 800-994-6610).


    • Review your medical record and receive answers to questions you may have about it. You may get copies of your record at a fair cost in a reasonable time frame.
    • Receive a detailed copy of your bill and have confidential discussion regarding financial arrangements.
    • Ask about and be informed of business relationships among payers, hospitals, educational institutions, and other health care providers that may affect your care.


As a patient, you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide correct and complete information about yourself, your health, allergies, and any other information you think your caregivers need to know.
  • Discuss and share your views about your care, including your pain management and any perceived risk or safety issues.
  • Provide a current copy of your Advanced Directive, if you have one.
  • Follow your agreed-upon care plan and report any changes in your condition to your nurse/doctor.
  • Indicate if you don not understand the implications of a planned procedure or treatment.
  • Provide complete information about your financial situation.
  • Pay your hospital bills or make arrangement through Business Services.
  • Respect the property, privacy, dignity, and confidentiality of all patients, visitors, physicians, and hospital staff.
  • Honor our smoke-free/tobacco-free policy.
  • Keep the environment free of illicit drugs, alcohol, and weapons.
  • Provide information on what medications you are taking and why you are taking them.
  • Accept consequences for the outcomes if you do not follow the care, treatment, and service plan.
  • Follow the hospital policies.
  • Help control noise.

For more information about your Patient Rights and Responsibilities, please ask to speak with the Unit Director or Nursing Supervisor.

St. Mary's Hospital respects the rights of any patient in accordance with state law.

(Rev. 4/05)

(Para español, haga clic aquí.)

St. Mary's Hospital     700 South Park Street     Madison, WI 53715-0450     (608) 251-6100
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