Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Florida law requires that health care providers or healthcare facility's recognize patient rights while receiving medical care and that the patient respect the healthcare provider's or healthcare facility's right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. The patient may request a copy of the full text of this law from the Patient Advocate. A summary of rights and responsibilities follow:

  • A patient has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his or her individual dignity, in a safe setting and with protection of his or her need for privacy, including consideration of the psycho-social, spiritual and cultural variables that influence the perceptions of illness.
  • A patient has the right to be free from mental, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • A patient has the right to confidentiality, including his clinical records, and the right to access the information in his medical record in a reasonable time frame.
  • A patient has the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
  • A patient has the right to know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his or her care.
  • A patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he or she does not speak English.
  • A patient has the right to facilities that routinely provide services to patients and must make these services available to the deaf. (TTY)
  • A patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct.
  • A patient has the right to have family members or representative and his own physician notified promptly of his admission to the hospital.
  • A patient has the right to be given by the health care provider information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.
  • A patient has the right to refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  • A patient has the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his or her care.
  • A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment; whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.
  • A patient has the right to receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • A patient has the right to receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable, itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.
  • A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment.
  • A patient has the right to treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • A patient has the right to know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his or her consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.
  • A patient has the right to expect effective pain management and health providers who respond in a timely manner to their complaints of pain.
  • A patient has the right to be free from the use seclusion or restraint unless clinically required and free of seclusion or restraints of any form as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.
  • A patient who is dying has the right to receive care that optimizes his comfort and dignity through treating symptoms that respond to treatment as desired, in managing pain and acknowledging the psychosocial and spiritual concern of the patient and family.
  • A patient has the right to sign a living will-advance directive and appoint a surrogate to make health care decisions on his behalf; however provision of care is not conditioned on the existence of an advance directive.
  • A patient has the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues that arise in his care.
  • A patient has the right to express grievances regarding any violation of his or her rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievance procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him or her and to the appropriate state licensing agency. Patients may file a complaint by contacting the Agency for Healthcare Administration Consumer Assistance Unit at (888) 419-3456 or the Joint Commission at patientsafetyreport@jointcomission.org.
  • A patient has the right to designate and receive visitors of his/her choosing. Visitors will be allowed equal access regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, subject to hospital visitation policies.
  • A patient is responsible for providing to the health care provider, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his or her health.
  • A patient is responsible for reporting unexpected changes in his or her condition to the health care provider.
  • A patient is responsible for reporting to the health care provider whether he or she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.
  • A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.
  • A patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or health care facility.
  • A patient is responsible for his or her actions if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the health care provider's instructions.
  • A patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his or her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  • A patient is responsible for following health care facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct. 

Florida Agency for Health Care

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration provides the website FloridaHealthFinder.gov to help the public make well informed health care decisions.