Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Florida law requires that health care providers or healthcare facilities
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
- A patient has the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions
- 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,
- 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
- 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
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration provides the website FloridaHealthFinder.gov to help the public make well
informed health care decisions.