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Patient Rights

As a patient at Baystate Health, you have the right to:

  • Access treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sources of payment for care.
  • Receive considerate and respectful care.
  • Receive privacy during treatment.
  • Maintain confidentiality of your medical records.
  • Be free from unnecessary restraint and seclusion.
  • Know the names and specialties of the people treating you.
  • Information about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
  • Know your treatment options and to refuse treatment.
  • Refuse to participate in research.
  • Receive an itemized bill for services you receive here.
  • Receive information about financial assistance and free health care.
  • See or obtain copies of your medical records.
  • Receive prompt life-saving treatment in an emergency.
  • Know the relationship between your doctor and the medical center.
  • Have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the facility.
  • Obtain from a person designated by the facility a copy of any additional rules or regulations of the facility which apply to their conduct as a patient or resident.
  • Refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by students or any other facility staffed without jeopardizing access to psychiatric or other medical care.
  • Transfer promptly and safely to a facility that agrees to receive and treat you if refused treatment because of economic status or the lack of a source payment.
  • Receive an up-to-date list of all your current medications.
  • Receive medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception; to be promptly offered emergency contraception; and to be provided with emergency contraception upon request (if you are a female rape victim of childbearing age


Patient Rights with Respect to Pain

You have the right to:

  • A quick, effective and concerned response when you say you are in pain.
  • The best available pain relief treatments.
  • The services of a pain specialist, if needed.
  • A sense that your complaint of pain is believed by a doctor or nurse.


You have the right to file a grievance with the hospital if you have concerns regarding your care and treatment.


Ethics Service


Who We Are:

Baystate Health's Ethics Service is an interdisciplinary advisory body that assists patients, families, and healthcare providers to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical dilemmas.


Making decisions amid the complexities of modern medicine is not easy.  Ethical questions may arise when patients lose the capacity to make decisions, when it is unclear whether the burdens of treatment are worth the expected benefits, when values between providers and patients conflict, and for many other reasons. 


The ethics service is free, confidential (within the limits of the law), and does not judge the quality of patient care or make medical decisions. Any patient, family member, or healthcare professional may request ethics consultation at any time, and for any reason. 

What We Do:

  • end-of-life decision making, such as withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment
  • determining a patient’s ability to make decisions about care, and designating a surrogate decision-maker
  • requirements of informed consent
  • conflicts over plan of care
  • questions about Advance Directives
  • issues of confidentiality


For more information or to request an ethics consultation, please contact Peter DePergola, PhDc, MTS, Clinical Ethicist & Chair, Ethics Service, via pager (by searching for “Ethics” in WebPaging), e-mail (at, or telephone (at ext. 47502).


Other Patient Rights Resources


The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health, Division of Health Care Quality (617-753-8000)

 99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02111



The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine

560 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118



The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Office of Quality Monitoring

1 Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181



Contact Us

If you have any questions, call our Patient Relations Office at: