Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

We at UT Southwestern Medical Center University Hospitals are concerned for your comfort and well-being.

As a patient, you have the right to:

  1. A reasonable response to your request and need for treatment or service, within UT Southwestern’s capacity, its stated missions, and applicable law.
  2. Considerate and respectful care with the assurance of privacy, confidentiality, and reasonable continuity.
  3. Be informed of hospital rules and receive information about the hospital’s patient bill of rights, its policies, and its mechanism for the initiation, review, and, when possible, resolution of patient complaints concerning the quality of care.
  4. Be given an explanation of billed services.
  5. Make or have your representative (as allowed under state law), in collaboration with your physician, make informed decisions regarding your care.
  6. Be informed of your health status, be involved in your treatment and discharge planning, and be able to request to refuse treatment
  7. Collaborate with your physician, and to accept medical care or to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal. Participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care.
  8. Formulate Advance Directives and to appoint a surrogate to make healthcare decisions on your behalf to the extent permitted by law, and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
  9. Be informed about any human experimentation or other research or educational projects affecting your care or treatment.
  10. Have a family member or friends or your own physician notified promptly of your admissions to the hospital, if you so request.
  11. Receive care in a safe setting that is free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  12. Access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame, while also maintaining confidentiality of your medical records within the limits of the law.
  13. Be free from seclusion or restraints of any form, whether a physical restraint or a drug, that are not medically necessary or that are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
  14. Have the nature, intensity, frequency, location, and duration of pain and suffering assessed and appropriately managed.
  15. Have your guardian, next of kin, or legally authorized responsible person exercise, to the extent permitted by law, the rights delineated on your behalf if you are a minor, are medically incapable of understanding the proposed treatment in the opinion of your physician, are unable to communicate your wishes regarding treatment, or have been found incompetent in accordance with the law.
  16. Receive respectful and effective communication provided in a way you can understand, including access to interpreters and translation services.  Receive written information that is appropriate to your age and understanding and to your needs due to vision, speech, hearing, language and cognitive impairments.
  17. Have spiritual services available to help you directly or to contact your own clergy. 

As a patient, you have the responsibility to:

  1. Provide complete and accurate information regarding your personal information, including your full legal name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, insurance coverage, and employer when required, and pay your bills in a timely manner. Also provide complete and accurate information regarding your health and medical history including: present condition, past illnesses, changes in condition, hospital stays, medications, and vitamins.
  2. Provide the hospital or your doctor with a copy of your advance directive, if you have one.
  3. Leave valuables at home and only bring the necessary items to your hospital stay.
  4. Remain free of the influence of or possession of illegal drugs, alcohol, or a weapon while on the premises of this facility.
  5. Refrain from operating hospital equipment without specific staff education and appropriate supervision.
  6. Follow infection control procedures, both for yourself and your visitors, and learn about your health issues and treatment.
  7. Actively participate in your pain management plan and inform medical staff of the effectiveness of your treatment.
  8. Comply with all your physicians’ requests and acknowledge that your failure to comply with treatment times or schedules, medications, diet and fluid restrictions, and other orders may correlate with declining health or possibly death.
  9. Cooperate with the staff member assigned to provide care for you. If you are uncomfortable with a specific staff member assigned to your care, notify the manager of your concern(s).

Patients and their families must be considerate of hospital and clinic staff and property, as well as the rights of other patients and their property. University Hospitals and hospital-based clinics maintain no tolerance for any threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence by patients, their family members, visitors, volunteers, or employees.