Office of Patient Advocacy

Bill of Rights for Children and Teens

The Massachusetts General Hospital wants to give you the care that us right for your illness and to help you get better as soon as possible. The following is a list of what you can expect from us while you are in the hospital.

Thank you for taking the time to read this Bill of Rights for Children and Teens. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at(617) 726-3370.

Adapted from A Pediatric Bill of Rights by the Association for the Care of Children’s Health.Copyright 1991, by ACCH.

Respect and Personal Dignity:

  • You are important. We want to get to know you.
  • We will tell you who we are and we will call you by your name.
  • We will take the time to listen to you.
  • We won’t talk in your room or outside your door unless you know what is happening.
  • We will honor your privacy.

Care that Supports you and your Family:

  • You and your family are important. We will work together to make you as safe and comfortable as possible.
  • You and your family can expect that you will be part of the planning for effective pain relief and control.
  • All families are different. We want to learn what’s important to you and your family.
  • There will be a place for a member of your family to spend the night in the hospital with you or near you.

Information you can Understand:

  • We will explain things to you. We will speak in ways you can understand. You can ask about what is happening to you and why.
  • Someone who speaks your language will help explain things to you.
  • Someone from your family can be with you when people in the hospital are explaining things to you.
  • We will tell you and your family how information about your health will be used and shared so that you receive the best care.
  • You can receive this in writing by asking for a copy of our Privacy Notice.

Quality Health Care:

  • You will be taken care of by doctors, nurses, and people who know about children and teenagers.
  • We will work together with you and your family to make your stay in the hospital as short and as comfortable as possible.

Emotional Support:

  • When you are in the hospital, you might feel scared, mad, lonely, and sad. You can let people know how you feel. It is okay to cry or complain.
  • You can have your family with you as much possible. When this is not possible, the other people caring for you will explain why.
  • We can help you meet children and families who have had experiences like yours.
  • You can wear your own clothing most of the time and keep your special things with you.
  • You can talk or play with people who know how to help when you have questions or problems.
  • You can ask to be moved to another room if you are uncomfortable or unhappy.

Care that Respects your Need to Grow, Play and Learn:

  • We will consider all your interests and needs, not just those related to your illness or disability.
  • You have the right to rest, to play, and then to learn. We will make sure that you have places and times for the things children your age need to grow and learn.

Make Choices and Decisions:

  • Your ideas and feelings about how you want to be cared for are important.
  • You can tell us how we can help you to feel more comfortable.
  • You can tell us how you want to take part in your care.
  • You can make choices whenever possible. Sometimes you can help decide when and where you get your treatments.