Your Patient Rights
If you decide to become one of our patients, you should know that you have rights. And we respect those rights. We want you to have all the tools and information you need to exercise those rights. Because in the end, we are partners, and partnerships are built on trust.
- The right to respectful and considerate care
- The right to be included in all facets of your care
- The right to exclude any or all members of your family from participating in your healthcare decisions
- The right to communicate without language, hearing, visual or learning barriers
- The right to be fully informed about your condition, treatment options and likely outcome
- The right to know the positions, title and names of the people treating you
- The right to appropriate management and assessment of pain
- The right to approve or reject treatment, as permitted by law (If you refuse treatment, we will provide alternative treatment when possible.)
- The right to create an advance directive, such as a healthcare proxy or living will (These are documents that instruct healthcare providers about your care or names someone to decide on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself. If you have a written advance directive, please provided a copy to your doctor.)
- The right to a reasonable level of privacy
- The right to your confidential treatment of your medical information unless you provide written authorization
- The right to access information in your medical records or have the information explained, except when restricted by law
- The right to receive your hospital services in accordance with the terms of your admission and necessary emergency care as required by law
- The right to information about partnerships with outside parties that is applicable to your care and treatment
- The right to decline or consent to participate in research influencing your care (If you decide not to participate, you will receive appropriate care the hospital provides otherwise.)
- The right to healthcare alternatives when hospital care is no longer appropriate
- The right to know hospital rules that influence and impact your treatment and billing
- The right to participate in the development of your plan of treatment
- The right to receive care in a secure and safe environment
- The right to file a grievance about your stay at our hospital
To file a complaint, contact Risk Management at (561) 671-7383 or visit the office at:
Good Samaritan Medical Center
1309 N. Flagler Dr.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
- You are solely responsible for providing the correct information about your health that includes, current conditions, past illnesses and treatments, hospital stays and use of medication.
- You are responsible for educating yourself by asking questions when you do not understand instructions.
- You are responsible for communicating to your doctor if you believe you can’t follow through with your treatment.
- You are responsible for providing your insurance information and for working with your doctor and hospital to make payments.
- You are responsible for the effects of your lifestyle on your health. (Your health is the product not just of the treatment you receive at a hospital, but also the decisions you make in your daily life.)
You have the right to decide on all treatment options, along with which ones you will accept and which ones you will refuse. After your doctor as covered your care options, you can put in writing your wishes in an advance directive. To ensure you wishes are carried out, our staff will follow your directive so your family doesn’t need to make any difficult medical choices on your behalf.
What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is a written set of instructions for medical care when you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Since you have the right to make important legal decisions related to your care, we can aid you in this important process.
Below are the three types of advance directives recognized under Florida law.
- Directive to Physicians and Family (Living Will)
- Healthcare Surrogate Designation / Medical Power of Attorney (POA)
- Out-of-Hospital Do No Resuscitate (DNR)
Extra information on advance directives
- Surrogate Decision-Maker
- Legal Information
- Consultation on Ethics
- Declaration for Mental health Treatment (DMHT)
Types of advance directives
Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (Living Will)
A “Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates,” also called a Living Will, allows you to make decisions in advance about the type of medical care you want to receive under Or you can use other means of non-written communication in the presence of your physician.
If you become unable to communicate and have not issued a directive after being diagnosed with a terminal condition, your attending physician, family members or legal guardian can make your decisions governing life-sustaining treatment. If, however, certain family members are not available, your doctor or another physician not involved in your care can also make decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment.
A directive goes into effect only once you have been diagnosed with an irreversible or terminal condition.
Medical Power of Attorney (POA)
Should you become unable to make decisions for yourself, you can give someone you trust the Medical Power of Attorney to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
The person you select must be an adult. You can choose a family member or a friend. If you select your spouse, however, the appointment of your spouse as an agent of your Medical Power of Attorney is revoked after a divorced is finalized.
Below is a list of people who cannot be appointed as your agent:
- Your attending healthcare provider
- Unless he or she is a relative, an employee of your healthcare provider
- Unless he or she is a relative, your residential care provider or employee of your residential care provider
The person you select only has the authority to make medical decisions after your physician has certified that you lack the ability to make your own decisions. If you object, your agent cannot make a healthcare decision, regardless of whether you have the capacity to make the healthcare decision yourself or if Medical Power of Attorney is in effect.
Your agent will work with your attending physician to make healthcare decisions according to your agent’s knowledge of your wishes, including your moral and religious beliefs. Your agent can decided on authorizing, withdrawing and refusing treatment, even if refusal leads to death. If your wishes are not known, your agent will make decisions based on what he or she feels is in your best interest.
Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR)
If you wish to refuse life-sustaining treatments outside any hospital stay, you must have an Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate document. The settings applicable to the Out-of-Hospital DNR are home health, nursing home, hospice, hospital emergency room and ambulance. You must issue this Advance Directive with your attending physician and signed by two witnesses on an orange sheet of paper.
Declaration for Mental Treatment (DMHT)
In the event, you become incapacitated, a Declaration of Mental Health allows you to provide instructions to healthcare providers your decisions for mental health treatment. It only applies to the treatment at a hospital.
The DMHT expires three years from the date it is signed, unlike a living will or medical power of attorney, both of which do not expire. The document stays in effect if you are incapacitated on that date until you are again able to make your own decisions.
Additional information about advance directives
Certain family members or others can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make your own decisions and do not have a legal guardian or designated surrogate under a Medical Power of Attorney.
Legal Features of Advance Directives
It is not necessary to notarize an Advance Directive. Your hospital or your doctor will not mandate you have an advance directive to receive treatment or be admitted. Nor will not having an Advance Directive affect your health plan.
Patients and families may participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of care, including issues of conflict resolution. North Shore Medical Center has a formal process in place to address ethical issues and dilemmas involved your care. Should you or your family desire an ethics consultation, please ask your nurse to contact the Hospital Ethics Consultation Team.