Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Building a Partnership

We want to be your partner in health care. By following the established patient rights and shared responsibilities below, we hope to build an even stronger partnership with those we serve.

Your Rights as our Patient

As Our Patient, You Have the Right to:


You will receive appropriate care in a considerate and safe manner respecting your personal values and beliefs without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference, gender identity or source of payment.


You, and when appropriate, your representative, family member or doctor, will be informed concerning your illness or condition, treatment options and outcomes of care in terms you can understand. You will be told the names of doctors and others providing care to you, and have the right to obtain information about the relationship of your doctor and Borgess Health to other health care, educational and financial institutions if it is related to your care and treatment.


You will be informed of any planned treatment, procedure or surgery, including an explanation of potential benefits and drawbacks, possible results of non-treatment and any significant alternatives. You have the right to refuse treatment and to be informed of the consequences of refusal. You also have the right to receive information about any experimental treatments proposed as part of your care and to refuse to participate in such experimental procedures without jeopardizing your continuing care.


You have the right to privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs with consideration, respect, and recognition of your dignity and individuality. Your privacy is protected in accordance with state and federal laws.


You are encouraged to actively participate in decisions involving your health care. You have the right to be fully informed about your care and various options available to you, and you have the right to decide which care you do—and do not—wish to receive. The Borgess Biomedical Ethics Committee is available for ethics consultations and assistance.  

Advance Directives

You have the right to make advance directives such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or to designate someone to act as your advocate or representative. Your health care provider is available for more information or assistance.  

Explanation of Charges

You have the right to examine and ask questions about your bill for health services regardless of source of payment. You also have the right to receive information relating to financial assistance that may be available to you. The Patient Financial Assistance Office has representatives to assist you.  

Addressing Your Needs and Concerns

You have the right to have physical pain and symptoms managed, and to have any psychological, spiritual or cultural needs addressed. You also have the right to have a support person of your choice with you, unless the individual’s presence infringes on others’ rights or safety or is not advised for specific medical or therapeutic reasons. In addition, you have the right to have translation services and devices that help you communicate.  

Information About Transfer or Discharge

You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care, including transfer of care or discharge. You will be provided with alternatives for continuing health care needs.  

Access to Your Medical Records

You have the right to review, obtain a copy and request an amendment to your medical record. Our Health Information Services (Medical Records) Department is available to assist you.  

Freedom From Abuse or Restraint

You have the right to be free from neglect; exploitation; chemical restraint; verbal, mental, physical, and sexual abuse. Physical restraints may only be used to protect the patient or others from injury and must be ordered by a physician. This order must be for a specified and limited time.  

Notice to Family and Doctor

Upon admission, you have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and/or your own doctor notified.  


You have the right to receive the visitors you choose including but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. You also have the right to withdraw or deny your consent for visitation at any time. Visitation shall only be restricted for the following reasons:

  • It is determined to be clinically necessary
  • To protect the patient or others from injury
  • To prevent deterioration of the patient’s condition
  • To prevent infringement on the rights of others
  • To prevent damage to the environment
  • To support the wishes and requests of the patient  

Complaint Resolution

We encourage you to give us your feedback and raise any questions or concerns that you may have about your care. What are we doing well? How can we improve? For immediate assistance, please talk with your care provider or ask to speak with the department director/manager. You and your family may direct questions, complaints, concerns and any other feedback to our patient relations department at (269) 226.7474 or (269) 226.7077. The department is staffed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call after hours or on weekends, leave a message and a patient representative will return your call the next business day. If you prefer to send comments through the mail, patient comment cards are distributed throughout the hospital. You can also file a complaint with the following agencies:

Michigan Department of Community Health
Bureau of Health Systems
Complaint Investigation Unit
P.O. Box 30664
Lansing, Michigan 48909
(800) 882.6006

Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
(800) 994.6610, weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET
(630) 792.5636 Fax

MPRO (Michigan Peer Review Organization) (800) 365.5899  

Your Responsibilities

As Our Patient, You Have the Responsibility to:

  • Provide a complete and accurate health history to your doctor and/or caregiver
  • Communicate with your doctors and caregivers about your understanding of your treatment and discharge plan
  • Participate in an agreed upon course of treatment and care
  • Inform your doctor and caregivers of changes in your health
  • Show respect for the rights and privacy of other persons and property
  • If you receive an identification bracelet, please wear it at all times during your care for your safety
  • Provide accurate and timely information about sources of payment and your ability to meet financial obligations
  • Report concerns related to any aspect of your care to your caregivers, the department manager, your doctor, or a patient representative  

For Further Information or Assistance

If you have questions, suggestions or needs related to any aspect of your care, please contact your care provider or ask to speak to the department director. A patient representative is also available to assist you and may be reached at (269) 226.7474 or (269) 226.7077

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