Patient Rights and Responsibilities

In this Section

Patient Rights

St. Mary's (CSM)
Core Values

In keeping with our mission, Columbia St. Mary's has developed this document consistent with the CSM Core Values.

A high regard for the worth, dignity and uniqueness of each person.

Commitment to Excellence
A commitment to the highest standards delivered with competence and pride.

Honesty, openness and sincerity.

Actions that are marked by innovation, flexibility, openness to change and imagination.

Connecting with another person through an act of assistance or benefit.


Columbia St. Mary's – a healthcare provider founded in response to identified community needs – is sponsored by Ascension Health, a Catholic national health system, and Columbia Health System, a non-sectarian community health system.

Columbia St. Mary's exists to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals and our community, with special concern for those who are vulnerable.

At Columbia St. Mary's we are committed to providing high quality, accessible, values-driven programs and services with equal attention to the physical, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of health.

We believe that a mutual understanding of our goals and beliefs as a healthcare provider will lead to a more meaningful relationship with you and your family.

Believing the patient to be an integral member of the healthcare team, Columbia St. Mary’s wants all patients and their families to know about the following Patient Rights and Responsibilities. These rights and responsibilities are designed to help assure safe and effective delivery of healthcare at all Columbia St. Mary’s hospitals and facilities.

You have the right:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s policy regarding patient rights and responsibilities.

  2. To access available treatment which values you without regard to your race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, newborn status, disability or source of payment.

  3. To be treated with consideration, respect, and recognition of your individuality and personal needs.

  4. To recognition of your personal dignity and the psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables that influence the perceptions of illness.

  5. To access available pastoral care and other spiritual services.

  6. To an environment that respects your need for confidentiality, privacy, and security.

  7. To expect safe surroundings, free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

  8. To know who is treating you, as well as why they are treating you.

  9. To privacy and confidentiality of your medical information.

  10. To know your diagnosis and what to expect regarding your healthcare choices.

  11. To be involved in decisions about your care, treatment, services, and care provider(s) with the exception of requests which result in discrimination against employees based on race/ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, lifestyle preference, age or disability.

  12. To provide consent before treatment is administered or procedures are performed.

  13. To be informed of the risks, side effects, and expected results of the recommended treatment or procedures.

  14. To be informed about the outcomes of your care, treatment and services, including unanticipated outcomes.

  15. To refuse, withdraw and/or withhold treatment, and be informed of the medical consequences of your decision.

  16. To be involved in your pain management, which includes being able to express your pain, have your pain assessed, and have it managed using the most currently accepted methods.

  17. To give consent or refuse to participate in clinical trials.

  18. To request discharge and be discharged against medical advice.

  19. To be free from physical or chemical restraint and/or seclusion that is not medically necessary.

  20. To know what your medical record says, to request changes where appropriate, and to receive an accounting of disclosures regarding your personal health information.

  21. To request information regarding transfer to, or treatment in another healthcare location and, except in emergencies, to be given a full explanation for a transfer if it is initiated by Columbia St. Mary’s.

  22. To refuse transfer, except in emergencies, in circumstances where provision has not been made for continuing care and/or the receiving facility has not accepted the transfer.

  23. To information regarding advance directives and to have assistance in formulating an advance directives document.

  24. To have someone represent you in making healthcare decisions.

  25. To request an Ethics Committee consultation.

  26. To express a concern and/or initiate Columbia St. Mary’s patient grievance process.

  27. To consent, limit, stop, and/or deny use of any recording or filming related to your care.

  28. To receive visitors, phone calls, and mail.

  29. To receive information in a manner you understand, including interpreter assistance when English is not your primary language or if visual, hearing or cognitive impairments prevent effective communication during your hospital stay and/or clinic visit.

  30. To access protective, legal, and advocacy services.

Patients who have a concern should contact the Nurse Director and/or Patient Representative on duty. The Nurse Director and/or Patient Representative will direct the concern to the appropriate individual who will, in turn, act to resolve the matter to the patient’s satisfaction. Should the patient wish to pursue the matter further, they may address the concern to the Administration of the respective hospital or clinic.

If the patient’s concern remains unresolved, the concern can be addressed to:

State of Wisconsin

Division of Quality Assurance
P.O. Box 2969
Madison, WI 53701-2969


The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring

Patient Responsibilities

You have the responsibility:

  1. To provide accurate and complete information about your health, to the best of your ability. 
  2. To notify staff if you do not understand your health care plan and what is expected of you. 
  3. To mention concerns about your care and report changes in your condition. 
  4. To be considerate of the rights of other patients, hospital and/or clinic personnel, and hospital property, as well as to follow the rules and regulations pertaining to patients and families. 
  5. To provide the hospital and/or clinic with information concerning your sources of payment and your ability to meet these obligations. 
  6. To cooperate with the advice, treatment plan, and prescription(s) you are given. 
  7. To discuss with your doctor or nurse any questions or intention not to follow your treatment plan and accept the outcomes of such a decision(s).

If patients have questions regarding their responsibilities, the Nurse Director and/or the Patient Representative on duty should be contacted.


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