Patient Rights and Responsibilties

Grady Health System recognizes and respects patient rights and encourage patients to become more informed and involved in their care. All patients deserve care, treatment, and services provided in a way that respects and fosters their personal dignity, autonomy, positive self-regard, civil rights, cultural, psychosocial, spiritual values, beliefs, and preferences.

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Patient Rights

Grady recognizes that each patient has the right to:

  1. Receive information in a manner he or she understands.
    • Patients have the right to the availability of tools tailored to the patient’s age, language of preference, and ability to understand to ensure effective communication.
    • Patients have the right to request auxiliary aids when necessary.
  2. Patients have the right to have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  3. Participate and make informed decisions about his or her care, treatment or services.
    • Patients have the right to talk with their physician anytime and participate in the development and implementation of their plan of care and make informed decisions regarding their care.
    • Patients have the right to include or exclude any or all family members from participating in decisions about their care.
    • Patients have the right to know the name of the physician or other practitioner who has primary responsibility for their care as well as the name of each member of their health team.
    • Patients have the right to understand their condition, progress, and all recommended tests and procedures.
    • Patients have the right to be informed by the physician of any unexpected outcome or treatment and any short or long term effect(s).
  4. Give or withhold informed consent.
    • Patients have the right to accept medical care or refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.
    • Patients have the right to give or withhold informed consent to produce or use recordings, films, or other images of the patient for purposes other than his or her care.
  5. Protection during research, investigation, and clinical trials.
  6. Have his or her decisions addressed regarding care, treatment, and services received at the end of life.
    • Patients have the right to execute an Advance Directive for Health Care and appoint a health care agent or substitute decision maker to make health care decisions on his or her behalf to the extent permitted by Georgia law.
    • Upon admission, all adult patients will be asked whether or not they have executed an Advance Directive for Health Care.
    • Adult patients will be provided written information and education about advance directives, foregoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, and withholding resuscitative services.
    • Patients have the right to receive access to care, treatment, or services even if they do not have an Advance Directive for Health Care.
    • Patients have the right to have their wishes honored concerning organ donation and/or any other end of life decision as indicated in the Advanced Directive for Health Care, when made known to Grady, or when required by Grady policy.
  7. To receive care in an environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self-image.
    • Patients have the right to treatment that is available, medically indicated, appropriate, and within the capacity and scope of Grady’s mission regardless of race, creed, sex, age, color, national origin, religion, disability, diagnosis, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, as well as source of payment.
    • Patients have the right to have their religious, spiritual, psychosocial, cultural, ethnic, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected and accommodated.
    • Patients have a right to not be secluded or placed in restraints unless medically necessary.
    • Patients have a right to have their pain monitored and controlled.
  8. Receive care in a safe environment free of neglect, exploitation, verbal, mental, physical, or sexual abuse. Grady reports cases of neglect and abuse to law enforcement and other protective services at any of the offices listed below.
    Fulton County
    Adult Abuse & Neglect (404) 657-5250 or 888-774-0152 (statewide)
    Child Abuse & Neglect (404) 699-4399
    Office of Aging (404) 730-6000
    DeKalb County
    Child Abuse & Neglect (404) 370-5066
    Senior Connection (770) 455-7602
    Mental Health Resources
    Georgia Crisis & Access Line (404) 730-1600 or 800-715-4225
  1. Personal privacy and confidentiality of all records, communication regarding their care, and to request a paper copy of Grady’s Notice of Privacy Practices. These privacy practices indicate patients have:
    • The right to say who can view their health information.
    • The right to access, request amendment to, and obtain information on disclosure of their health information in accordance with law and regulation.
    • The right to have their identifying information (i.e., name, address, social security number, medical, or financial information) safeguarded by Grady personnel. (Patients should report concerns regarding suspected identity theft or misuse of patient identifying information to Grady’s Compliance Hotline by calling (404) 616-2118).
    • The right to protection from improper disclosure of mental health and other sensitive health information in accordance with law and regulation.
  2. Patients may receive visitors of their choosing, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend.
    • Patients may refuse to consent to a person visiting them, or may withdraw consent to see a visitor at any time.
    • Grady will ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences. Without limiting the previous sentence, the hospital will not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, nor will it permit anyone else to do so.
    • Patients may designate a “support person” to exercise their visitation rights on their behalf. Patients may designate a Support Person in any manner, including verbally, in writing, or through non-verbal communications (such as pointing).
    • This hospital can apply reasonable clinical restrictions and other limitations on patient visitation. Reasonable restrictions may be based upon, but are not limited solely to, any of the following:
      1. a court order limiting or restraining contact,
      2. a visitor’s behavior presenting a direct risk or threat to the patient, hospital staff, or others in the immediate environment,
      3. visitor behavior that is disruptive to the functioning of the patient care unit involved,
      4. the patient’s risk of infection by the visitor,
      5. the visitor’s risk of infection by the patient,
      6. a patient’s need for privacy or rest,
      7. the need for privacy or rest by another patient in the patient’s shared room,
      8. any special restriction rules that apply to special patient care units (intensive care, mental health/behavioral health, drug and alcohol, etc.), and
      9. when visitation would otherwise interfere with the care of the patient and/or the care of other patients.
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Patient Responsibilities

Patients have the following responsibilities:

  • To provide accurate and complete health, medical, and insurance information, including a copy of an Advance Directive for Health Care, if the patient has one.
  • To participate in decisions relating to the care and treatment plan for the patient’s condition as outlined by the patient’s providers.
  • Be aware that the patient’s right to be involved in his or her plan of care does not include receiving medically unnecessary or inappropriate treatment.
  • To ask questions, acknowledging when he or she does not understand the diagnosis, treatment course including options.
  • To be responsible for outcomes, if the patient fails to adhere to the agreed upon treatment plan or refuses treatment.
  • Maintain and secure his or her personal valuables, property, and other assistive devices during his or her stay. Grady is not responsible for the loss and/or damage of any patient’s personal effects, valuables and/or any other assisted devices.


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