Patient Rights

The rules and procedures of all the hospitals affiliated with the Medical Tourism Program recognize and support inpatients rights, as provided by the “Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities” Letter, Act No. 194 of August 25, 2000. As a patient, you have the right:

  1. To receive high quality-medical care, consistent with the accepted standards of medical practice.
  2. To receive considerate medical care that respects patients’ values and beliefs.
  3. The patient has the right to receive equal treatment with respect and dignity without distinction of race, color, sex, age, religion, ethnic or national origin or identification, political ideology, present or future physical or mental incapacity, medical or genetic information, social status, sexual orientation or ability or payment form.
  4. Informing and integrating patients about decisions regarding their medical care.
  5. Right to participate in ethical decisions that may emerge regarding their medical care.
  6. Right to informed consent about your care, treatment or ethical situations. The patient has the right to consent to medical treatment after being informed of the benefits, risks, possibilities of success, consequences and alternatives of treatment. Also, the patient has the right to refuse treatment after being advised about the medical consequences of not receiving the same.
  7. Right to maintain the privacy, confidentiality and security of your protected health information. Protected Health Information shall not be disclosed without the written authorization of the patient.
  8. The patient’s right to formulate advance directives, including, but not limited to, the use of living will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care related to your treatment, or designate a family member or legal representative to be in charge of the decision making regarding your health care. The patient has the right to change, delete or add information in their advance directives at any time.
  9. Being able to choose a representative that can make decisions in the event that the patient is incapable of understanding the treatment and procedure that is being offered.
  10. When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another facility only after having received complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The facility to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer.
  11. Patient has the right to refuse to be transferred to another facility.
  12. Patient care must take into consideration psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables that may influence a patient’s perception on illness.
  13. Care for a dying patient must be aimed at making the patient comfortable, also respecting the patient’s dignity while treating primary and secondary symptoms that may respond to a treatment, according to the wishes of the patient or a representative. The care will take into consideration the psychosocial and spiritual needs associated with the death and sympathy of a patient and their families.
  14. Right to obtain a second opinion with another professional of his/her preference.
  15. Any individual, not involved in patient´s direct care, will not be present while the patient is being examined or treated, unless the patient has authorized otherwise. Right to privacy; discussion, examination, diagnosis and treatment are confidential. You have the right to refuse to receive visits, select who visits you and request to not be identified as an inpatient. The right to privacy may be limited in those situations where the patient needs to be continuously observed because there is a risk of causing harm to himself and/or others.
  16. You have the right to agree or refuse to take part in medical research studies. You may withdraw from a study at any time without impacting your access to standard care.
  17. The patient has a right to request a transfer to another available room if another patient or visitor in that room are unreasonably disturbing to said patient, as long as another room is available and is in the same condition.
  18. Wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not jeopardize safety or interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  19. The patient has the right to be accompanied by a nurse, member of the same sex, when examined by his doctor.
  20. In case of emergency or special procedure, the patient has the right to privacy. This includes being accompanied only by your primary care physician, nurse or specialized staff participating in the emergency or medical procedure.
  21. Right to be free from all forms of abuse, neglect and / or harassment by employees, other patients and / or visitors. In case of suspicion that the patient is abused or neglected in his / her place of residence, the patient has the right to be referred to community services that offer protection.
  22. The patient, at his/her own request and expense, has the right to consult with a specialist.
  23. If hospitalized, when released, the patient has the right to receive follow-up medical treatment if required by the case.
  24. Requesting and receiving a detailed explanation regarding their hospital bill, no matter what their payment source is.
  25. Being informed of the hospital’s rules that regulate or govern their behavior as a patient.
  26. To request amendments, corrections, or changes to your medical record.
  27. Inspect and request a copy of your medical record.
  28. May request an accounting of all Accountable Disclosures of the patient’s PHI made for up to six years preceding the request.
  29. The patient has the right to have a pain assessment and to be involved in decisions about treating the pain. The patient has the right to adequate pain management according to the highest standards of medicine.
  30. The patient has the right to have his discharge planned and notified in advance.
  31. As part of an integrated care the patient has the right to request and receive spiritual counseling or services.
  32. The patient has the right of access to people outside the hospital by means of visitors, and by oral and written communication. According to hospital protocols, visits may be limited.
  33. The patient has the right to be free from restraints and seclusion in any form that is not medically required.
  34. The patient has the right to file a complaint regarding services and is entitled to information regarding the hospitals mechanism for the initiation, review and resolution of such complaints.
  35. The patient has the right to access and be informed of the different available agencies that are authorized to act on his behalf to assert or protect his rights.

Pediatric Patient Rights

  1. Pediatric patients have the right to receive personalized attention.
  2. They have the right to be provided with the necessary physical facilities, modern equipment, medication, and materials in order to receive the best medical attention and care that their condition deserves.
  3. Attention to pediatric patients must be quick, particularly in emergency cases, without long wait times or deferrals.
  4. Children have the right to be treated with equality, without privileges, preferences, or discrimination toward their illness, age, race, religion, or socioeconomic condition.
  5. The parent or guardian of the pediatric patient has the right to receive all necessary information about the patient’s medical condition, medical treatment, benefits, risks, chances of success, consequences and treatment alternatives, before consenting to it. In case of emergency, where the life of the patient is in danger, this consent can be dispensed.
  6. When caring for pediatric patients, confidentiality and privacy must be kept during consultations and hospitalization.
  7. Pediatric patient information given to parents or tutors must be clear, complete, truthful, understandable, and, when appropriate, informed consent should be sought.
  8. The pediatric patient has the right to always be accompanied by his/her caregiver or family member during care, consultation, procedure, hospitalization, and transfer processes, except in areas restricted by the hospital.
  9. The person in charge of the pediatric patient has the right to be informed about the hospital’s rules and regulations.
  10. The pediatric patient has the right to receive appropriate pain management in accordance with the highest standards of medicine.
  11. Their safety must be guaranteed: prevent falls, hospital infections, kidnappings and other adverse events.
  12. The right to a complete clinical record registering clinical history, development, study results, procedures, and prognosis.
  13. The person in charge of the pediatric patient has the right to be informed if the hospital proposes carrying out any kind of scientific investigation for which the patient’s participation is asked for and that may have any health risks. The person in charge must provide their consent for these procedures.
  14. The person in charge of the patient has the right to know the name of the person responsible for ordering and administrating medical treatment.
  15. The person in charge of the patient has the right to deny any interviews, interrogations, observations, or pictures of the minor carried out by agencies unrelated to the hospital for promotional means.
  16. If requested, parents or tutors have a right to a second opinion, a summary, and a copy of the minor’s medical record.
  17. The person in charge of the pediatric patient has the right to be oriented about the care that the minor must receive at home or other medical establishments that the minor may be referred to continue treatment upon release.
  18. The person in charge of the pediatric patient has the right to the hospital’s providing interpreters to ease communication.

Mental Health Patient Rights Charter

As a patient, you are entitled to the following rights, as established in Chapter III of the Letter of Rights for Adults Receiving Mental Health Services in Act 408 of October 2, 2000, known as the Mental Health Act of Puerto Rico:

  1. To be treated with respect and dignity in a human environment, providing security and effective care.
  2. To have an individualized treatment, recovery and rehabilitation plan designed.
  3. To be informed of the individual treatment, recovery and rehabilitation plan.
  4. To be heard, attended and consulted on all the matters that affect his condition, and progress.
  5. To know all about the services or treatments proposed in its individualized treatment, recovery and rehabilitation plan before consenting to it.
  6. To refuse to receive any type of treatments and / or services. This refusal extends to medicines.
  7. If the patient refuse to receive treatment and / or services, the hospital will inform the patient or his legal guardian about the services and alternative treatments available, the risk and medical consequences of the patient’s refusal of any medication, treatment or procedure and the prognosis.
  8. To a treatment that imposes the least restriction and socio-physical isolation.
  9. To the confidentiality of your health information.
  10. To request participation in support groups.
  11. To receive visitors at the place and time designated.
  12. To have your hospitalization for the shortest possible time, until you are able to move to a lower level of care.
  13. To be represented by a lawyer.
  14. To freedom of communication.
  15. The right to wear personal clothing, to have personal effects and to have a secure place in which to keep them.
  16. To present complaints or grievances regarding violation of the rights described in Law 408.
  17. To receive hospital medical outpatient services, without suffering discrimination based on mental condition.
  18. Not to be identified as a Mental Health Patient, nor as an ex-patient, except when the patient so requests or authorizes it under the procedure established for it in Law 408.
  19. Right to receive the support of his father, mother, family member, guardian and protection agencies at the time of discharge.

PUBLIC LAW 104–191—AUG. 21, 1996