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  • T: 1-978-369-1400
  • Find a physician 24/7:
    1-877-936-3776
  • TTY: 1-800-439-0183


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Rights & Responsibilities


We the physicians, staff and trustees of Emerson Hospital are dedicated to providing outstanding patient care, education and research in a manner that always respects the dignity of our patients. We are committed to ensuring you receive information regarding your rights and responsibilities as a patient at Emerson Hospital.

Patient Rights

You have the right:

  • to a prompt and adequate response  to reasonable requests and needs for treatment or service within the capacity of Emerson Hospital.
  • to prompt life-saving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment.
  • to considerate and respectful care and the ability to participate in the development of your care plan.
  • to accept or refuse to be examined, observed or treated by students or any other Emerson Hospital staff without jeopardizing access to psychiatric, psychological or other medical care or attention.
  • to provide or receive assistance to execute a Health Care Proxy pursuant to law.
  • to informed consent to the extent provided by law.
  • upon request, to obtain from Emerson Hospital the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or other person responsible for your care or the coordination of such care.
  • to have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified of admission to the hospital.
  • upon admission, to information about Emerson’s policy regarding patient rights and responsibilities.
  • upon request, to receive any information which the Hospital has available relative to financial assistance and free health care.
  • to be free from all forms of sexual harassment.
  • upon request, to obtain an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of Emerson Hospital, or any physician practicing at Emerson Hospital to any other health care facility or educational institution, insofar as said relationship relates to your care or treatment.
  • to refuse to serve as a research subject or to refuse to accept any care or examination when the primary purpose is educational or informational rather than therapeutic.
  • to privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within Emerson Hospital’s capacity.
  • to be free from restraint or seclusion unless it is used to protect the physical safety of the patient, a staff member or others.
  • to confidentiality of records and communications, as prescribed by law.
  • upon request, to inspect your medical record and to receive a copy thereof, as prescribed by law.
  • upon request, to receive a copy of any itemized Emerson Hospital bill or other statement of charges submitted to a third party for your care.
  • to complete information on all medically viable alternative treatments in the case of patients suffering from breast cancer.
  • except in cases of emergency surgery, at least 10 days prior to an operation for breast implant, to receive information regarding the risks and disadvantages associated with breast implantations.
  • at pre-admission, each maternity patient shall receive complete statistics on Emerson’s deliveries by cesarean section, nurse-midwife deliveries, deliveries in birthing and delivery rooms, pre-natal monitoring, induction, various delivery procedures, anesthesia and the percentage of patients who breast-feed.
  • to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • to medical interpretive services, at no cost to you.
  • full and equal visitation rights consistent with patient preferences without imposed limitations based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Patient Responsibilities

You have the responsibility:

  • to keep appointments, or telephone Emerson Hospital when you cannot keep a scheduled appointment.
  • to provide to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, advance directives and other matters relevant to health or care.
  • to inform Emerson Hospital’s care team promptly if you do not understand any matter relating to your care or treatment or instructions with which you cannot comply.
  • to be considerate of other patients and to see that your visitors are considerate, particularly with reference to noise (visiting regulations have been established to ensure the rights and comfort of all patients and must be followed).
  • to observe Emerson Hospital’s smoke-free policy.
  • to abide by Emerson Hospital’s rules and regulations.
  • to provide Emerson Hospital with necessary information regarding coverage of your hospital charges.
  • patients are responsible for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow their practitioner’s instructions.

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints regarding your rights and responsibilities, your care or safety, please share them with the department manager, your nurse, case manager, social workers or physician. You may also contact any of the following:

Hospital Concerns

Complaint Unit
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111

T: 617-753-8000
F: 617-753-8165

Office of Quality Monitoring

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

T: 800-994-6610
F: 630-792-5636

Physician Concerns

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
560 Harrison Avenue, Suite G-4
Boston, MA 02118

T: 617-654-9800 or 800-377-0550
F: 617-451-9568

If you have Medicare, please contact:

MassPRO
245 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451

T: 800-252-5533

A more detailed listing of your rights can be obtained through Patient Access: 978-287-3060. MGL Chapter 111 Section 70E.

Ethics Committee

Although most ethical concerns are resolved in discussions involving patients, families and caregivers, Emerson Hospital, like many hospitals today, provides an Ethics Committee.

The Ethics Committee offers confidential consultations to patients and their families on matters that may involve ethical concerns such as end of life care, consent for medical interventions when the patient is unable to participate in the discussion or decisions to discontinue treatment. The role of the Committee is to advise and help clarify medical situations with uncertainty or conflict, societal values and moral or legal issues.

The Committee is a group of physicians, nurses, social workers, hospital chaplain, administrators and a community ethicist who meet on a regular basis at Emerson Hospital.

Any patient, family member or caregiver may request a consultation with the Ethics Committee by asking a hospital nurse, physician, chaplain or social worker or by calling the Patient Care Coordinator at 978-369-1400. This service is available at no charge.