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Summary of Patient Rights & Responsibilities

While You are a Patient in This Hospital, You Have the Right to:

  • Be informed of your rights in advance before you receive care. Where appropriate, we will inform your support person or legal representative such as a parent of a minor child, legal guardian, or agent for health care decisions of your rights.
  • Submit a complaint or grievance to the Hospital and/or to the governmental agencies listed below under Questions and Complaints.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of your care, including a discharge plan.
  • Make informed decisions regarding your care. This right includes being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. You also have the right to create an advance directive that hospital staff will follow.
  • Designate and receive visitors of your choosing. We ensure that all Visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges. However, Rutland Regional may impose reasonable restrictions on Visitors where it is clinically necessary for the individual patient or other patients.
  • Have a family member, support person, representative, or physician of your choice notified promptly of your admission.
  • Respect for your personal privacy, dignity and comfort.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment. Patients may only be subject to restraint and seclusion to ensure the immediate physical safety of the patient, a staff member, or others and must be discontinued at the earliest possible time.

Vermont Bill of Rights for Hospital Inpatients

Vermont law includes specific rights for patients who are admitted as inpatients. Your rights as an inpatient include the right to:

  • Receive considerate and respectful care at all times and under all circumstances with recognition of your personal dignity. 
  • Have an attending physician who is responsible for coordinating your care. Your right includes knowing your attending physician’s name.
  • Obtain, from the physician coordinating your care, complete and current information concerning diagnosis treatment, and any known prognosis in terms you and/or your support person can reasonably understand.
  • Receive information from your physician that is necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment, or both, unless it is an emergency. You also have a right to know if any medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist.
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of refusing treatment.
  • Respect for your privacy. This right includes the right to have a person of your own sex present during an exam and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required. You have the right to wear your own clothes except when they interfere with your medical care.
  • Expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care shall be treated as confidential unless you give us permission or is otherwise permitted by law.
  • Expect that you will have access to our resources. Your rights include, if physically possible, a transfer to another room or place if another person in that room or place is disturbing you by unreasonable actions. When medically permissible you may be transferred to another facility only after receiving complete information and explanation concerning the needs for, and alternatives to, such a transfer.
  • Know the names of the people that are providing your care and what they do. This includes your right to know of the existence of any professional relationship among individuals who are treating you, as well as the relationship to any other health care or educational institutions involved in your care.
  • Know if any part of your care would involve research. You can always refuse to participate in research.
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care, and the right to be informed by your attending physician of continuing health requirements following discharge. 
  • Receive an understandable and specific hospital bill.
  • Know what hospital rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient.
  • Whenever possible, guardians or parents have the right to stay with their children 24 hours per day. Whenever possible, visitors identified by patients may stay with terminally ill patients 24 hours a day.
  • Have an interpreter if a language barrier or hearing impairment presents a continuing problem to your understanding of the care and treatment being provided.
  • Receive professional assessment of pain and professional pain management.
  • Be informed in writing of the availability of hospice services and the eligibility criteria for those services.
  • Know the number of nursing staff working on your unit and the number of patients.

Vermont Patient’s Bill of Rights for Palliative Care & Pain Management

Vermont law includes specific rights for patients with terminal illness, pain and chronic conditions to make informed decisions. Your rights include the right to:

  • Be informed of all evidence-based options for care and treatment, including palliative care, in order to make a fully informed choice.
  • Be informed of all available options related to terminal care if you have a terminal illness; and to be able to request any, all, or none of these options; and to expect and receive supportive care for the specific option or options available.
  • Request or reject the use of any or all treatments in order to relieve your pain.
  • Receive competent and compassionate medical assistance in managing your physical and emotional symptoms if you have a chronic condition.

As a Patient in this Hospital, You Have the Responsibility to:

  • Keep your appointments or phone the Hospital when you cannot.
  • Be considerate of other patients by respecting their privacy and limiting your visitors.
  • Observe safety regulations including tobacco-free environment and weapons policy.
  • Supply accurate information to appropriate personnel and report unexpected changes in your condition to your doctor.
  • Ask questions if instructions are unclear.
  • Participate in your treatment plan as recommended by your health care team.
  • Assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

If you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities, ask your physicians, nurse, social worker, case manager, or other hospital representative.

Questions and Complaints

If you have a question about complaints about your care, please contact our Patient Relations Department at 802.772.1978 or 802.772.2819. Patient Relations Department, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Rutland, VT 05701.

For questions about advance directives, call the Social Work Department at 802.747.3713.

You May Also Contact One of the Following Governmental Agencies and Accrediting Organizations:

About Quality or Safety
The Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
800.994.6610 or by email.

Hospital Complaints and Reports of Abuse of Vulnerable Adults
Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living, 
Division of Licensing & Protection
HC 2 South, 280 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671-2060

Complaints About Nurses
Vermont State Board of Nursing, Secretary of State’s Office
National Life Building – North Floor 2, Montpelier, VT 05620

Complaints About Licensed Health Care Professionals
Other Than
Physicians or Nurses
Vermont Secretary of State,Office of Professional Regulation
National Life Building – North Floor 2, Montpelier, VT 05620

Complaints About Physicians
Vermont Board of Medical Practice
108 Cherry Street, PO Box 70, Burlington, VT 05402-0070
800.745.7371 or by email at

RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER160 Allen Street, Rutland, VT 05701802.775.7111

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