Patient Rights & Responsibilities

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. We commit to providing equitable and inclusive access to care and services with appropriate accommodations as needed.

Patient Rights

Each Emerson Hospital patient shall have the right:

  1. To care without discrimination regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, political affiliation, or place of residence.
  2. To a prompt and adequate response to reasonable requests and needs for treatment or service, including accommodations for disabilities, within the capacity of Emerson Hospital.
  3. To prompt life-saving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment.
  4. To considerate and respectful care and the ability to participate in the development of your care plan and your discharge plan.
  5. 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.
  6. To provide or receive assistance to execute a Health Care Proxy pursuant to law.
  7. To informed consent to the extent provided by law.
  8. 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.
  9. To have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified of admission to the hospital.
  10. Upon admission, to information about Emerson’s policy regarding patient rights and responsibilities.
  11. Upon request, to receive any information which the Hospital has available relative to financial assistance and free health care.
  12. To be free from all forms of sexual harassment.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. To privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within Emerson Hospital’s capacity.
  16. To be free from restraint or seclusion unless it is used to protect the physical safety of the patient, a staff member or others.
  17. To confidentiality of records and communications, as prescribed by law.
  18. Upon request, to inspect your medical record and to receive a copy thereof, as prescribed by law.
  19. 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.
  20. To complete information on all medically viable alternative treatments in the case of patients suffering from breast cancer.
  21. To receive information about the hospital’s rate of cesarean sections and related statistics if you are a maternity patient.
  22. To appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  23. To medical interpretive services, including assisting technology for hearing-impaired individuals, at no cost to you.
  24. 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.
  25. To 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.
  26. To prompt and safe transfer to a facility that agrees to provide treatment if refused treatment for economic status or lack of a source of payment.
  27. To participate in consideration of ethical issues that arise and to be included in any ethical discussion in the provision of your care.

Patient Responsibilities

To ensure the best possible care for all patients, Emerson Hospital asks each patient to accept the following responsibilities:

  1. To keep appointments, or telephone Emerson Hospital when you cannot keep a scheduled appointment.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. To observe Emerson Hospital’s smoke-free policy.
  6. To abide by Emerson Hospital’s rules and regulations.
  7. To provide Emerson Hospital with necessary information regarding coverage of your hospital charges.
  8. Patients are responsible for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow their practitioner’s instructions.
  9. To take an active role in the medication process. Help the staff to prevent medication errors by providing current information, asking questions and being an informed consumer.
  10. To ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management, discuss pain relief options with your doctor and nurse, work with them to develop a pain management plan, ask for pain relief when pain first begins, tell your doctor and nurse if the pain is not relieved, and tell them about any worries you have about taking pain medication.

ADA Questions

For ADA related questions or concerns, the hospital has appointed an ADA Coordinator, Rory St. Pierre, who may be reached at 978-287-3385.


If you have concerns regarding your care and treatment, you have the right to file a grievance with Emerson Hospital. Please contact the quality and patient safety compliments and concerns line at 978-287-3385. You also have the right to file a grievance with:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health,
Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111

The Joint Commission,
Office of Quality and Patient Safety
1 Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
800-994-6610 or email

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
TTY 781-876-8395

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111 Section 70E