Your Patient Rights

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Recognizing the dignity and vulnerability of each person as a patient, St. Mary’s Medical Center is a Catholic institution that operates under the mission of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and has developed the following list of patient rights and responsibilities.  A  copy of these rights and responsibilities is also available in Spanish.

At St. Mary’s Medical Center, “family” is considered any person(s) who plays a significant role in your life.

Your Rights

  • You have the right to reasonably access treatment when accommodations are available and treatment is indicated and appropriate.
  • You have the right to receive care that respects your individual culture, spiritual and social values, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability or any other classification protected by law.
  • You have the right to receive the care you need from St. Mary’s Medical Center, regardless of your ability to pay and regardless of how St. Mary’s Medical Center compensates or shares financial risk with its licensed independent practitioners, leaders, managers, and clinical staff.
  • You have the right to be informed by your physician -in language that you understand- of the nature of your illness and treatment options, including potential risks, benefits, and alternatives
  • You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • You have the right to receive considerate, respectful care and reasonable personal privacy in receiving treatment in a reasonably safe and secure environment.
  • You have the right to know the identity of your caregivers and their role in your care.
  • You have the right to receive appropriate pain management including the relief of physical and psychological symptoms associated with pain at the end of life.
  • You have the right to expect that St. Mary’s Medical Center and its staff are committed to developing health care delivery systems and designing patient care processes to reduce the risk of medical error.
  • You and, when appropriate, your family have the right to be informed about outcomes of your care, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • You have the right to receive information concerning experimental procedures which may be proposed as a part of your care and for which you must give consent; and, with the assurance that your refusal to participate in any experiment will not jeopardize your continuing care.
  • You and, any family you may designate, have the right to information and to participate in decisions concerning your continuing health care needs and discharge planning.
  • You have the right to have a family member, friend or other individual to be present for emotional support as long as it does not infringe on others’ rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
  • You have the right to be free from all forms of mental, physical or other abuse, neglect or harassment and from physical and chemical restraints except those restraints authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited time as necessitated to protect yourself or others from injury.
  • You have the right to obtain information as to any relationship of St. Mary’s Medical Center or physician to other health care and educational institutions insofar as your care in concerned.
  • You have the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to care received at St. Mary’s Medical Center will be treated in a confidential manner.
  • You have the right to refuse any non-emergency treatment that is suggested unless it is required by law.
  • You have the right to formulate, review and revise an Advance Directive, which St. Mary’s Medical Center will honor within the limits of the law and
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center mission and philosophical directives.
  • You have the right to request, at your own expense, a consultation with another physician or specialist or a second opinion prior to consenting to any suggested treatment.
  • You have the right to receive visitors, as you designate including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including same sex partner), family member, a friend and the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
  • You have the right, upon request, to an itemized explanation of your bill for services received at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
  • You have the right to the availability of language translation services when appropriate, and access to interpretive services and/or communication devices for those with visual or hearing limitations.
  • You have the right to view your medical record upon request in the presence of a designated staff member.
  • You and, your family when appropriate, have the right to be involved in resolving any issues pertaining to care decisions along with your care providers and/or the Hospital Ethics Committee.
  • You have the right to be made aware of the complaint mechanism available to you through which you, and others on your behalf, may communicate concerns and dissatisfaction with the quality of care and services.
  • You have the right to expect and receive a reasonably prompt and courteous response to any verbal or written complaint or grievance.
  • You have the right to access an independent assessment of any special needs that you may have regarding such things as guardianship and advocacy services, conservatorship, and child or adult protective services in order to ensure that your best interests are of primary concern.
  • You have the right to information pertaining to hospital rules and regulations concerning your care and conduct while a patient at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
  • You have the right to a family member or representative of your choice, and your physician to be notified promptly of your admission.

Your Responsibilities

  • You are responsible to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about matters relating to your health, particularly, present complaints, past illnesses, prior hospitalizations, and types of medications you have used or are using now.
  • You are responsible to provide any existing Advance Directives document and/or information about the content of such document.
  • You are responsible for the consequences of your actions if you refuse recommended treatment or do not follow instructions given to you by your physician or others providing your health care.
  • You and your family are responsible to treat your health care providers and all support personnel with consideration, respect and dignity by maintaining civil language and conduct in interactions with staff and physicians.
  • You and your family are responsible for respecting the rights and comforts of other patients, particularly with regard to privacy, visitors, noise and confidentiality.
  • You are responsible to report anything that you believe is unsafe in regard to how your caregivers are providing your care and for asking questions if there is anything you do not understand.
  • You are responsible for fulfilling the financial obligations of your health care.
  • You are responsible for following all hospital rules, policies and regulations in place to support quality care and a safe environment for all.

Important Information for Patients and Families:

A copy of the Ascension Health Standards of Conduct brochure, which is a guide outlining the expectations regarding ethical business behavior for all Partners is available upon request. A confidential Values Line at 1-800-707-2198 is available to anyone who wishes to report any violations or suspected noncompliance of these Standards.

If any patient, or family member, has a concern about the care, or wishes to discuss an ethical issue related to treatment, or if they wish to file a grievance concerning their care, they are encouraged to inform one of their caregivers or call the Patient Relations Representative at 812-485-4860, or the 24 Hour Care Line at 812-485-1234.

Additionally, a patient or family member may contact the Indiana State Board of Health (ISDH) to report any concerns by email:; by phone: 800-246-8909; or by mailing a complaint to 2 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46204.

Complaints concerning any healthcare organization accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) may also be reported online; by email:; by fax: 630-792-5636; or by mailing a complaint to Office of Quality & Patient Safety, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181.
A copy of St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Patients Rights and Organization Ethics Policy is also available to anyone who requests one.


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