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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

To promote patient safety, we encourage you to speak openly with your health care team, be well informed, and take part in care decisions and treatment choices. Join us as active members of your health care team by reviewing the rights and responsibilities listed below for patients and patient representatives.

You or your designee have the right to:

Respectful and Safe Care 

1. Be given considerate, respectful and compassionate care.

2. Have a family member/friend and your doctor notified when you are admitted to the hospital.

3. Be given care in a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect (verbal, mental, physical or sexual).

4. Have a medical screening exam and be provided stabilizing treatment for emergency medical conditions and labor.

 5. Be free from restraints and seclusion unless needed for safety.

6. Know the names and jobs of the people who care for you.

7.  Know when students, residents or other trainees are involved in your care.

8.  Have your culture and personal values, beliefs and wishes respected.

9.  Have access to spiritual services.  

10.  Have conversations with the Ethics Service about issues related to your care.   

11.  Be treated without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, ethnicity, language or ability to pay.

12. Be given a list of protective and advocacy services, when needed. These services help certain patients (e.g., children, elderly, disabled) exercise their rights and protect them from abuse and neglect.

13.  Ask for an estimate of hospital charges before care is provided.

Effective Communication and Participation in Your Care  

14. Get information in a way you can understand. This includes sign language and foreign language interpreters and vision, speech and hearing aids provided free of charge.

15. Get information from your doctor/provider about:

  •  your diagnosis 
  •  your test results
  •  outcomes of care
  • unanticipated outcomes of care

16. Be involved in your plan of care and discharge plan or request a discharge plan evaluation at any time.

17. Involve your family in decisions about care.

18. Ask questions and get a timely response to your questions or requests.

19. Have your pain managed.

20.  Refuse care.

21. Have someone with you for emotional support, unless that person interferes with your or others’ rights, safety or health.

22. Ask for a chaperone to be with you during exams, tests or procedures.

23. Choose your support person and visitors and change your mind about who may visit.

24. Select someone to make health care decisions for you if at some point you are unable to make those decisions (and have all patient rights apply to that person).

End of Life Decisions 

25. Create or change an advance directive (also known as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care).  

26. Have your organ donation wishes known and honored, if possible.

Informed Consent 

27. Give permission (informed consent) before any non-emergency care is provided, including:

  • risks and benefits of your treatment
  • alternatives to that treatment
  • risks and benefits of those alternatives

28. Agree or refuse to be part of a research study without affecting your care.

29. Agree or refuse to allow pictures for purposes other than your care.

Privacy and Confidentiality 

30. Have privacy and confidential treatment and communication about your care.

31. Be given a copy of the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices.

Complaints and Grievances 

32. Complain and have your complaint reviewed without affecting your care. If you have a problem or complaint, you may talk to your doctor, nurse manager or a department manager.  

33. You may also contact Risk Management or the Nursing Supervisor at 301-896-3100, ext. 2000.

34. If your issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, other external groups you may contact include:

Hospital’s Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for coverage decisions or to appeal a premature discharge:

Organization for Beneficiary Family Centered Care (BFCC-QIO)
5201 West Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33069


State Agency:

Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Health Care Quality, Hospital Complaint Unit
Spring Grove Hospital Center, Bland Bryant Building
55 Wade Avenue
Catonsville, Maryland 21228

Toll free: 1-877-402-8218

Accreditation Agency:

The Joint Commission Office of Quality and Patient Safety
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181


To address discrimination concerns, you may also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Ave., SW
Room 509F, HHH Building 
Washington, DC 20201 

1-800-368-1019, 1-800-537-7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at:

You have the responsibility to:

  1.  Provide accurate and complete information about your health, address, telephone number, date of birth, insurance carrier and employer.
  2.  Call if you cannot keep your appointment.
  3.  Be respectful of your hospital team, from the doctors, nurses and technicians to the people who deliver your meals and the cleaning crews.
  4.  Be considerate in language and conduct of other people and property, including being mindful of noise levels, privacy and number of visitors.
  5.  Be in control of your behavior if feeling angry.
  6.  Give us a copy of your advance directive. 
  7. Ask questions if there is anything you do not understand. 
  8. Report unexpected changes in your health. 
  9. Follow hospital rules.  
  10.  Take responsibility for the consequences of refusing care or not following instructions.
  11.  Leave valuables at home. 
  12.  Keep all information about hospital staff or other patients private. 
  13. Do not take pictures, videos or recordings without permission from hospital staff. 
  14.  Pay your bills or work with us to find funding to meet your financial obligations.