Your Patient Rights

MetroWest Medical Center is committed to providing consistently high-quality health care services in an environment of compassion and respect. We welcome any feedback you have about any part of your experience, as we’re always interested in improving.

We hope you’ll find that our entire staff at MetroWest is committed to providing you with quality care. You have the right to know about your illness and to participate in the decisions that affect your well-being. As such, you may request a copy of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 111: Section 70E, referring to patient rights, in its entirety, at the Patient Admitting/Registration Office.

Know Your Rights

Pursuant to state and federal law, as a patient of MetroWest Medical Center, you have the right to:

  • Receive prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency.
  • Choose the facility that you’ll be treated in, except in case of emergency.
  • Impartial access to treatment regardless of your race, national origin or sources of payment for care.
  • Be fully informed about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms you can reasonably be expected to understand.
  • Know your treatment options; participate in decisions regarding care and refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law; be informed of the medical consequences of your actions.
  • A second opinion or to consult with a medical specialist at your own request and expense. Prompt, appropriate and safe transfer to another facility, if necessary, when medically permissible and not until the other facility and receiving doctor have agreed to accept you.
  • Refuse to participate in research or experimental projects.
  • Participate in the informed consent process.
  • Be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • Expect appropriate assessment and effective management of pain. The hospital supports and coordinates activities and resources to assure that your pain is recognized and addressed appropriately including the education of patient, family and relevant providers regarding their roles in managing pain.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from all forms of abuse or harassment, preserving dignity.
  • Request a chaperone to be present during any physical examination.
  • Be free from restraints that are not deemed medically necessary, except when there is imminent risk of self-harm or harm to others and less restrictive intervention is ineffective.
  • Access protective and advocacy services.
  • Considerate, respectful care and the right to effective communication about your care.
  • Special equipment for communication needs of deaf and hearing-impaired patients.
  • An interpreter if English is not your primary language.
  • Have a family member as well as your doctor notified of your admission.
  • Know the names and specialties of the people treating you, visible by an Identification badge.
  • Be advised of the reason for the presence of any individual and to refuse to be examined by students.
  • Have an advance directive (health care proxy, living will and durable power of attorney) placed in your medical record with the expectation that the hospital staff honor the directive to the extent permitted by law. A patient desiring health care proxy preparation shall be entitled to have assistance with the process.
  • Receive an explanation on withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatments and to have issues related to end of life addressed with sensitivity, including participation in organ donation programs.
  • Participate in ethical decisions related to your care.
  • Access information contained in your medical record within a reasonable time frame, and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, except when restricted by law.
  • Request a copy of your medical records.
  • Be informed of hospital rules and regulations as they apply to your conduct as a patient and to be given information about your rights and responsibilities upon admission.
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and to be informed of realistic alternatives when hospital care is no longer appropriate, including your continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital.
  • Be informed about the process for the prompt resolution of complaints, without being subject to coercion, discrimination or reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care and treatment.
  • Every consideration of your privacy concerning your own treatment to the extent possible.
  • Confidentiality of your medical records and communications except in such cases as suspected abuse or public health hazards and/or when reporting is required by law.
  • Have your medical record read only by individuals directly involved in your treatment or in the monitoring of quality. Other individuals may only read your medical record upon your written authorization or that of your legally authorized representative.
  • Protection(s) guaranteed under the federal and Massachusetts state laws associated with the use, disclosure and maintenance of your protected health information (PHI) as described in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
  • Wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items that do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  • Access to pastoral and spiritual services.
  • Access to communication, visitors, mail and telephone calls, unless clinically contraindicated.
  • Have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within our capacity.
  • Know the relationship between your doctor and MetroWest Medical Center.
  • Receive an itemized bill and explanation of services you received here, regardless of source of payment.
  • Receive information about financial assistance and free health care.
  • Receive medically and factually accurate written information about emergency contraception if you are a female rape victim of childbearing age; to be promptly offered emergency contraception and to be provided with emergency contraception upon your request.
  • Refuse to disrobe.

Your Patient Responsibilities

As a patient at MetroWest Medical Center, you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information about your identity, present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health.
  • Provide information regarding the existence of a health care proxy, ensuring that the hospital receives a valid copy of your advance directive for inclusion into your medical record.
  • Follow the treatment plan recommended by the doctor/practitioner responsible for your care and to express any concerns about your ability to follow the prescribed treatment.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand your care or treatment.
  • Accept the consequences of your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the prescribed treatment plan.
  • Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting your care, conduct and safety.
  • Show respect and consideration of hospital personnel and property as well as other patients and their property; assisting in the control of noise, no smoking and number of visitors.
  • Provide information for insurance processing and assure that the financial obligations are fulfilled, working with the hospital to arrange for payment.
  • Share your concerns, complaints and suggestions so we may continually improve the care and services we deliver.
  • Leave your valuable personal items at home, send them home with family if possible or secure them in the hospital safe.
  • You have the right to voice your complaints regarding the quality of care or services you have received. Voicing a concern or complaint will in no way compromise your access to care or treatment.

Contact Us

If you have a concern or feel your rights haven’t been respected, please contact:

Patient Relations & Patient Advocate
115 Lincoln Street
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 383-2775