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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Know your rights and responsibilities.

Mercy Medical Center considers you and your care partners an important part of your healthcare. Knowing your rights and role can help you make better decisions about your care.

Download Patient Rights & Responsibilities brochure.


What Are Your Rights?

  • You have the right to be treated in a manner that supports your dignity. You have the right to have your cultural and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected.
  • You have the right to be informed about the care you will receive. You have the right to information regarding your medical condition unless medically contraindicated.
  • You have the right to get important information about your care in your preferred language.
  • You have the right to receive effective communication and to get information in a manner that meets your needs, including those who have vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments.
  • You have the right to participate in and make decisions about your care.
  • You have the right to refuse care.
  • You have the right to know the names and professional status of the caregivers who treat you.
  • You have the right to safe care and the assurance of reasonable safety within the hospital. You have the right to be free from neglect, exploitation, and verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.
  • You have the right to have your pain managed.
  • You have the right to personal privacy.
  • You have the right to confidentiality of your medical and personal information.
  • You have the right to see and request changes to your medical record.
  • You have the right to obtain information on disclosures of your health information.
  • You have the right to religious and other spiritual services.
  • You have the right to know when something goes wrong with your care.
  • You have the right to get a list of all your current medications.
  • You have the right to be listened to.
  • You have the right to care that is free from discrimination. This means you should not be treated differently because of:
* Age
* Race
* Ethnicity
* Religion
* Culture
* Language
* Physical or mental disability
* Socioeconomic status
* Sex
* Sexual orientation
* Gender identity or expression
* Creed
* National Origin
* Diagnosis
* Source of Payment
  • You have the right to access and have an explanation of your billing statement.
  • You have the right to have an advanced directive. The Pastoral Care department can assist in completing documents if needed.
  • You have the right to consult with a specialist at your request and expense.
  • You have the right to have a personal representative, also called a care partner, with you during your care. Your care partner is a family member or friend of your choice.

What is the Role of Your Care Partner?

  • Your care partner can be with you to provide support during your care.
  • Your care partner can get information and ask questions when you cannot.
  • Your care partner can remind you about your instructions and help you make decisions.
  • Your care partner can ask for help if you are not getting the care you need.
  • If they are your legal guardian or if you signed a legal document giving them healthcare power of attorney, they may make decisions for you in the event you are unable.

What is Your Role in Your Healthcare?

  • You should be active in your healthcare because your choices will affect your care and treatment and healing.
  • You should share as much information as possible about your health with your caregivers. For example, give them a list of your medicines, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and remind them about your allergies.
  • You should ask questions especially when you do not understand.
  • You should participate as an active listener when instructions are given to you by your caregivers.
  • You should provide accurate and complete information.
  • You should follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for your care. This may include following the instructions of nurses and other healthcare professionals as they implement the practitioner’s orders and enforce the applicable hospital rules and regulations.
  • You are responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment or if you do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
  • You are responsible to assure that the financial obligations of your care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  • You are responsible to follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  • You are responsible to be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the control of noise, not smoking, and number of visitors in your room.

What is "Informed Consent"?

Informed consent means that you understand your treatment choices and their risks. Your caregivers should help you understand the treatment choices and risks, and what will happen if you are not treated.

Can the Organization Take Pictures or Videos of You?

Yes. They can take pictures, videos or other images and recordings to be used for your care or treatment, or to identify you. The staff must ask your permission to use the images or recordings for any other purposes.

How Do You File a Complaint or Safety Concern?

  • Contact the unit manager.
  • Call the Patient Advocate, dial "0" or (319) 398-6703.
  • Contact the state agency that licenses or certifies the healthcare facility.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Complaint Unit
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th ST
Des Moines, IA 50319-0083
(877) 686-0027 (Toll Free)

  • Contact The Joint Commission with complaints about our accredited organizations. You can fill out a complaint form here.

The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitor
Fax (630) 792-5636
Phone (800) 994-6610