Office of Patient Advocacy

It is the goal of Massachusetts General Hospital to give you the care that is right for your illness and to help you to get well as soon as possible. We are committed to maintaining the rights, dignity and well-being of all patients.

  • If you have a problem that you cannot solve with your doctor, nurse or other caregiver, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at 617-726-3370.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

We are committed to maintaining the rights, dignity and well-being of our pediatric and adult patients. Adult patients or when appropriate, the patients's representative, as allowed by state law and parents/guardians of minors will receive information on Rights and Responsibilities on admission to the hospital. This information is available to all patients in our outpatient practices.

The hospital does not discriminate against any individual regardless of race, color, religious creed, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, disability, vetran or active military status, marital status or national origin/ethnicity.

The Patient Has The Right:

  • To be treated in a caring, safe and compassionate way.
  • To receive timely, complete and accurate information. 
  • To know the name and specialty of those providing care.
  • To say yes or not to treatment as allowed by law.  
  • To ask questions about what is happening and why.
  • To have things explained in their preferred language.
  • To make an advance directive, such as a health care proxy, for those 18 years of age or older.
  • To have privacy when being examined or when talking to a health care provider.
  • To be evaluated and treated for pain.
  • To choose who may or may not visit. We may need to limit or restrict visitors if there are health or safety concerns.
  • To choose who may be present to provide emotional support.
  • To review and request medical records, as allowed by law.  
  • To say yes or not to taking part in a research study.
  • To expect a quick response to questions or concerns.
  • To be offered emergency contraception, get emergency contraception when asked, and get written information about emergency contraception if your are a female rape victim.
  • To know how health information is used and shared. Ask for the Privacy Notice if you want his writing.
  • To report concerns about safety by calling the Compliance Helpline at (617) 726-1446.
  • To contact the Office of patient Advocacy for help solving problems or concerns at (617) 726-3370.
  • To raise concerns outside of the hospital: Quality of Care: Massachusetts Division of Healthcare Quality at: (617) 753-8150 or The Joint Commission at: (800) 994-6610, Civil Rights Complaints: The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office at: (617) - 727-2200.

The Patient Has The Responsibility

  • To work together with health care providers on the plan of care.
  • To let health care providers know if you want family or otherrs involved in care and decision making.
  • To share information about health history, any changes in health, and current symptoms.
  • To share information about current and past medications, including over the counter medications, vitamins, herbs and /or alternative medicines or treatments.
  • To talk about any allergies or reactions to medications
  • To talk about reactions to anesthesia, if surgery is needed.
  • To tell healthcare providers if you don't understand or think you will not be able to do what is being asked.
  • To help prevent loss by keeping anything valuable at home.
  • To ask family and friends to schedule visits to promote rest, healing and privacy.
  • To limit noise during posted quiet hours.
  • To behave in a respectful manner. Yelling, verbal threats or physical harm to staff or property is not allowed.
  • To keep the hospital smoke free by following the No Smoking Policy on the hospital grounds.
  • To give the hospital information they need about payment or medical care.
  • To ask questions before leaving the hospital about medications, activities and the follow-up care.

If you have any questions about any of this information, or would like a copy of the law called the Massachusetts Patient Bill of Rights, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at (617) 726-3370.