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Patients > While at Stamford > Patients Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities


You have the right to privacy and confidentiality. People who are not involved in your care may not receive information about you without your permission. You are entitled to know what role any observer has in your care and to have any observers unrelated to your care leave if you so request.
You have the right to a copy of your medical record after your discharge and within a reasonable time frame (approximately 30 days) after your written request has been received by the Health Information Management Department. If your records are required for another treating physician or healthcare provider, Stamford Hospital will supply this information directly to the provider without cost and as quickly as possible.


You are an important and unique person, and we will respect you, introduce ourselves to you, explain our role in your care, and listen to you. We will respect your individual values and your religious beliefs. If you wish, a member of our Pastoral Care Department will visit you to support your spiritual needs. Each patient has the right to the best medical care available, without consideration of race, color, national ancestry, age, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, or ability to pay.


You have the right to be fully informed about your health status, recommended treatment, alternatives, benefits and risks, and to be involved in your plan of care and treatment. You may ask questions about your care at any time. We will answer them honestly and clearly. If you are asked to participate in a research study, you are entitled to a full explanation of the study, including the potential risks, complications, benefits and alternatives. You also have the right to refuse to participate in any research study without such refusal affecting the care provided to you. You have the right to detailed information about your bill. You are entitled to inquire about the possibility of financial aid for your hospital bills and to receive information and assistance in obtaining such aid.


Trained professionals will work together to care for you. You have the right to know the name of the physician responsible for your treatment and to speak with that physician and others involved in your care. Stamford Hospital is a teaching hospital, and you may therefore meet doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in training who will participate in your care and treatment under the guidance of their supervisors.
You are entitled to care in a safe and supportive environment, free of abuse or harassment. We will work with you to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to support your right to access protective services. Before you leave the hospital, we will work with you on your discharge plan and teach you what you need to know to continue to care for yourself at home.


You are entitled to make choices about your care. Your physician will explain the benefits, risks and alternatives to treatments that he or she is recommending so that you can make decisions that are right for you.
You have the right to request a second opinion regarding your treatment and to request the names of other physicians able to provide such a second opinion.
You may refuse treatment as permitted by law. We will honor your choices and continue to provide you with the best care that the hospital can offer under the circumstances. You have the right to prepare advance directives, which state your medical treatment wishes, and to appoint a person to make medical care decisions for you should you be unable to do so. We will be happy to assist you in documenting your wishes and instructions. The hospital staff will provide care that is consistent with these directives.
You also have the right to leave the hospital against your physician's advice, unless you have certain infectious diseases which may influence the health of others or unless you will be unable to maintain your safety as defined by law. If you choose to leave the hospital against medical advice, the hospital will not be responsible for any harm that this may cause.


In the event of a conflict concerning the care of a patient, the patient care team will work with the patient and family to reach a resolution. The department chief, patient representative, nursing management, administration, and/or Ethics Committee are all available to help resolve the conflict. The Chief Executive Officer or his/her designee retains the final authority for addressing admission, treatment and discharge issues.

Suggestions, Questions, Complaints

Stamford Hospital employs Patient Relations Representatives to ensure the best possible service to our patients and their families. If you have a suggestion, question, or complaint about any aspect of your care while you are at Stamford Hospital, we encourage you to contact a Patient Relations Partner from your patient telephone. Call 276.2590 or 2590. You may also ask the staff to contact a Patient Relations Representative for you. The Patient Relations Representative will make every effort to resolve your complaint in a timely manner. You may also voice your concerns or complaints by contacting the state survey agency, which is the Department of Public Health, located at 410 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06134, 860.509.7400 and/or the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring located at 1 Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181, or call 800.994.6610.

Special Needs

If you need an interpreter, we will provide one. If you need special equipment, we will obtain it for you. We will help you contact friends and family by telephone or by mail. Should you have any other special needs, we will do our best to accommodate them. Please notify your nursing staff.

Autopsy Notice

Connecticut law requires that we inform you, as part of your patient bill of rights, about autopsy rights. The law provides that your legal next of kin has the right, upon your death, to consent to or refuse an autopsy. If an autopsy is desired, your legal next of kin may:
  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by Stamford Pathology Consultants.
  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by a pathologist who is not affiliated with Stamford Hospital; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin.
  • Have the autopsy conducted at another facility; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin. 

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient, you are responsible for:

  • Providing accurate and complete medical information to your physician and other involved staff.
  • Following the treatment plan developed by your physician.
  • The health consequences if you refuse medical treatment or do not follow your physician's treatment plan.
  • Financial obligations related to the care that is provided to you in the hospital.
  • Following hospital rules and regulations regarding medical care and conduct.
  • Being considerate of the rights and needs of other patients and hospital staff.
  • Your own personal property and being respectful of the property of other patients, staff, and the hospital.
  • Protecting your health and safety by not smoking.
  • Keeping your health records up to date by providing current information when you register.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Patients are discouraged from leaving the hospital against medical advice. If you wish to leave against medical advice, you will be asked to sign a Discharge Against Medical Advice form. Your physician and, when appropriate, your family will be notified if you are making this request.
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