Patient Rights

When your child becomes our patient, you become a partner in their healthcare plan. As our partner, you have certain rights and responsibilities. We respect your rights, and we want to make sure you have all the tools you need to communicate your wishes openly and effectively.

This section provides a full explanation of your rights on the following:

Patient Rights 

Florida law  

(F.S. 381.026) requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the health care provider or health care facility’s right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your health care provider or health care facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities follows: 


  • Be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of your individual dignity and with protection of your need for privacy 

  • Prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests 

  • Know the identity and professional status of the individuals providing your medical services and care 

  • Know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if you do not speak English or experience hearing difficulties 

  • Know what rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient 

  • Care that includes consideration of the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural variable that may influence your illness 

  • Be provided with information about advance directives, living wills, or durable powers of attorney for health care decision making as well as other health care decision making options 

  • Be given information by your health care provider about diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, benefits and prognosis to enable you to make treatment decisions 

  • Accept or refuse medical care or treatment, except as otherwise provided by law  

  • To be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal; if you refuse the hospital may end its relationship with you after reasonable notice 

  • Be given, upon request, full in formation and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for your care  

  • Know, upon request, and in advance of treatment, whether or not your health care provider or health care facility accepts Medicare assignment and the Medicare rate if you are eligible for Medicare 

  • Receive, upon request, and prior to treatment, an estimate of charges of medical care. Such estimates shall not preclude the health care or health care facility from exceeding the estimate or assessing additional charges based upon changes in your condition or additional services that may be needed or necessary 

  • Receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have charges explained 

  • Impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations regardless of race, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental impairment or source of payment 

  • Treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment  

  • Know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give your consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research 

  • Express grievances regarding any violation of your rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievance procedure of your health care provider or healthcare facility which served you and to the appropriate state licensing agency 

  • Contact Guest Management if you wish to express a concern/ grievance or should you have any questions about how to file a complaint to management. Your right to register a complaint will not result in any type of retribution now or in the future 

  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain 

  • Expect reasonable safety with regard to Tenet Healthcare practices and its environment 

  • Report or any accurse or suspected abuse or neglect to administration and expect to receive a quick and reasonable response 

  • An organizational system for the consideration of ethical issues concerning your care and to be included in the ethical decisions regarding your care 

Children and adolescents may not be at a developmental stage to make appropriate decisions regarding their medical care. Therefore, in addition to the rights set forth above, the child has the right to: 

  • Set aside time each day to play based on their medical condition and developmental stage 

  • A room and playroom as their “safe, non-threatening” environment 

  • Take a favorite toy with them to any treatment or procedure 

  • Visits by brothers, sisters and friends during certain times of the day and have a parent or guardian with them at all times 

  • An age-appropriate level of explanation for procedures and treatments done by staff 

  • Have procedures and treatments explained to their parents/guardians prior to provision of those procedures and treatments 

  • Access to educational services when treatment necessitates a significant absence from school  


  • Providing your health care provider, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health 

  • Reporting unexpected changes in your health conditions to your health care provider  

  • Reporting to your health care provider, whether or not you understand a possible planned course of action and what is expected of you 

  • Gaining an understanding of your illness, recommended treatments and for cooperating with your treatment plan as recommended by your health care provider 

  • Keeping appointments and, when you are unable to do so for any reason, notifying your health care provider of health care facility 

  • Your actions and the resultant consequences if you refuse treatment or do not follow your health provider’s instructions 

  • Assuring that your financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as 

  • promptly as possible 

  • Helping to facilitate the safe delivery of care by reporting any perceived risks in your care 

  • Following health care facility rules and regulations pertaining to patient care and conduct designed for your safety and the consideration of others 


  • Each patient (or his/her Support Person) will be informed in writing of their visitation rights including: 

  • Patient’s right to receive the visitors whom he/she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, domestic partner (including same sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend 

  • Patient’s right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time 

  • Justified Clinical Restrictions which may be imposed on a patient’s visitation rights 

  • All visitors designated by the patient (or Support Person when appropriate) shall enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences. St. Mary’s Medical Center does not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.  


Means any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation imposed by the Hospital on a patient’s visitation rights which restriction or limitation is  necessary to provide safe care to patients. A Justified Clinical Restriction may include, but need not be limited to one or more of the following: 

A court order limiting or restraining contact; Behavior presenting a direct risk or threat to the patient, hospital staff or others in the immediate environment; Behavior disruptive to the functioning of the patient care unit; Reasonable limitations on the number of visitors at any one time; Patient’s risk of infection by the visitor;  Visitor’s risk of infection by the patient; Extraordinary protections because of a pandemic or infectious disease outbreak; Substance abuse treatment protocols requiring restricted visitation; Patient’s need for privacy or rest; Need for privacy or rest by another individual in the patient’s shared room or when patient is undergoing a clinical intervention or procedure and the treating health care provider believes it is in the patient’s best interest to limit visitation during the clinical intervention or procedure. 

The Guest Relations Department is responsible for pursuing and or referring any questions, concerns, complaints or grievances you may have about your rights or  the quality or care and services provided by St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. You may contact the Guest Relations staff directly at  ext. 24646, or ask any staff member to contact them on your behalf. If this is an emergency, please call the hospital operator (dial 0) and ask them to page the Nursing Supervisor. We will gladly address any issues or concerns you may have about your or your child’s care. 

Should you have any questions or complaints regarding the quality of care offered by your health care providers or health care facility, you may contact the following: 


Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) 
Consumer Assistance Unit 
2727 Mahan Drive 
Tallahassee, FL 32308 
Toll Free: 1-888-419-3456  

The Joint Commission   
One Renaissance Boulevard 
Oak Brook, Illinois 60181
[email protected] 
Toll Free: 1-800-994-6610 
Fax: 630-792-5636