Your child has rights as a patient and you have rights as a parent. You also have responsibilities, as you use our services, to follow the rules of the hospital, the unit where your child is hospitalized, and the clinic your child goes to for appointments. We value you as a member of your child's healthcare team, and we encourage you to talk with the people who provide care to your child.
We have embraced standards of behavior which exemplify the best of our workforce. Learn more about how they define our culture.
You Have the Right:
- To know the name, profession and experience of our staff who care for and treat your child.
- To hear from your child's doctor, in language and words that you understand, what your child’s medical problem is (the diagnosis), what treatment your child needs (procedures and medication), what the outcome may be (the prognosis), including any risks, and any training or instructions you need to learn to care for your child at home.
- To take part in all decisions about your child's care and treatment; to give informed consent for all treatment and procedures; to refuse any drug, test, procedure or treatment (exceptions may apply); to change your mind prior to any procedure for which you have given consent; to cross out any part of the consent form that you do not want applied to your child's care; and to refuse to sign a consent form if you feel that you do not understand everything that was explained to you.
- To be told what you can do if you believe that you and/or your child have been treated unfairly or if you have a complaint.
- To freely voice complaints and recommend changes without fear of a change in the quality of care your child is receiving.
- To ask before treatment what the estimated cost will be if it is not an emergency. We will base this estimate on usual costs for children with a similar diagnosis. If you give us insurance information, we can help you get an estimate of any charges that your insurance will not cover. You also have the right to know, before we begin care or treatment, how and when the hospital will bill you.
- To ask to see another doctor, get a second opinion, or change doctors or hospitals.
- To refuse to take part in the training of healthcare workers, research or in experimental programs.
- To be informed about outcomes of care.
- Accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, including forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitative services.
- Present advance directives or request assistance in developing them.
- Have the option to review and revise advance directives.
* The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine your access to care, treatment, and services.
- To have your child receive care and treatment in a way that respects him or her as a person with dignity. This includes providing as much personal privacy as we can while we treat your child.
- To be free from seclusion and restraints, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by the staff.
- To expect that we will not share with anyone the files about your child' care and information about how it will be paid. The only people who are allowed to see your child's records are you (parents and legal guardians), the people who have your permission in writing, and those who are allowed by law to see the records, for example your child's doctors and nurses. All requests for inspection and/or copies of medical records shall be made to the Health Information Management/Release of Information department.
- To have information about pain and pain relief measures.
- To have access to the hospital's resources necessary to the care of your child without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, creed, religion, disability (mental and physical), marital status, genetic information, gender expression, sexual orientation or other protected classification to the extent required by applicable laws.
You are Responsible:
- To produce, upon request, appropriate documentation of authority to consent to the child's admission and medical/surgical treatment.
- To tell us as fully as you can what concerns you have about your child. You also have the responsibility to tell us about your child's past illnesses, when your child has been in the hospital, what medications your child was given or is currently taking and anything else that has to do with your child's health.
- To ask questions if you do not understand the papers and forms you are asked to sign.
- To let your child's doctor or nurse know if you do not understand what your child's problem is (the diagnosis), what the treatment will involve (procedures, medications), or the likely outcome (the prognosis).
- To tell your child's doctor, nurse or patient representative if you have concerns or are not happy about the care your child is getting at the hospital.
- To inform hospital staff if you have an advance directive and to provide a copy to your care-givers.
- To cooperate and follow instructions that the doctors, nurses, or other staff recommend to you for the care of your child and this includes following recommendations to keep a safe and healthy environment for your child.
- To work with members of the medical team to develop pain management plans.
- To keep your appointments and to be on time. If you cannot keep an appointment, please call the hospital or clinic as soon as possible to cancel the appointment and arrange for a new one.
- To make sure that the charges will be paid.
- To respect the privacy and confidentiality of the other children and families receiving care at the hospital.
- To help the hospital staff provide a safe place for you, your child and our staff.
- To be thoughtful of the rights of other patients and hospital staff by controlling noise levels and numbers of visitors.
- To follow cellphone rules-keep your phone on silent/vibrate mode when around staff (your nurse and doctor) or other patients and their families. (Do not use a camera-phone to take photos of people other than your family.)
Your own actions
- To remember that you are responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment for your child or do not follow the physicians' instructions.
- Note You or another adult family member must look after children younger that 18 who come to visit your child and they must also follow the rules. Space permits two family members to stay overnight in most patient rooms as long as the rules of the hospital are followed.
- Exception: Parents of children who are hospitalized in the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit are not allowed to stay in the room with their child.
- Note We do not allow the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, guns and other weapons. We will not tolerate disruptive behavior which includes swearing, threatening others, interfering with the care of any patient or visiting your child under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. If you do any of the above, security staff will be called and may escort you out of the hospital.
- Note As a member of your child's treatment team, we expect you and all members of the team to appropriately and respectfully attempt to resolve conflicts, should they arise.
- Note Disruptive or otherwise inappropriate behavior (e.g., intimate relations or viewing adult content media) is prohibited in patient care areas at Children's.
For Our Patients 18 Years Old and Older
You have the right to:
- Accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, including forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitative services
- Present advance directives or request assistance in developing them
- Have the option to review and revise advanced directives.
You have the responsibility to:
- Inform hospital staff if you have an advanced directive and to provide a copy to your care-givers.
The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine your access to care, treatment, and services.
Revised December, 2010
Download a .pdf version of Patient Rights and Responsibilities in English