Patient Rights & Responsibilities

See Our Patient Handbook

A complete guide to your stay at Stamford Hospital.

Patient Rights


You have the right to privacy and confidentiality. People who are not involved in your care may not receive information about you without your permission. You are entitled to know what role any observer has in your care and to have any observers unrelated to your care leave if you so request. Please review it carefully in English | Spanish | Haitian Creole | Russian | Polish | Brazilian Portuguese.


You are an important and unique person, and we will treat you in a respectful manner that supports your dignity. We will introduce ourselves to you, explain our role in your care, and listen to you. We will respect your individual values, cultural and religious beliefs. If you wish, a member of our Spiritual Health & Wellbeing Department will visit you to support your spiritual needs. Each patient has the right to the best medical care available, without consideration of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, (including, but not limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression), or ability to pay.


You have the right to be fully informed about your health status, recommended treatment, alternatives, benefits, and risks, and for you and your care partner(s) to be involved in your plan of care and treatment. You may ask questions about your care at any time, and we will answer them honestly and clearly. If you are asked to participate in a research study, you are entitled to a full explanation of the study, including the potential risks, complications, benefits, and alternatives. You also have the right to refuse to participate in any research study without such refusal affecting the care provided to you.

You have the right to a copy of your medical record after your discharge and within a reasonable time frame (approximately 30 days) after your written request has been received by the Health Information Management Department. Each patient has the right to request and receive (within 72 hours) a copy of their discharge information via CD, secure email, or thumb drive to maintain electronically for their personal files. If your records are required for another treating physician or healthcare provider, Stamford Health will supply this information directly to the provider without cost and as quickly as possible.

You have the right to view your medical record during your hospital stay. Upon request, your nurse will arrange a time for you to view the medical record and will be present to answer any questions relating to information contained in the record to ensure confidentiality. Approvals may be required prior to releasing behavioral health documentation or the record of a minor child in certain situations.

You have the right to detailed information about your bill. You are entitled to inquire about the possibility of financial aid for your hospital bills and to receive information and assistance in obtaining such aid.

Pain Management

As a patient, you have the right to information about pain and pain relief measures. You are entitled to an informed and concerned staff who respond quickly to reports of pain with the best method of pain relief that may safely be provided.

You are responsible for asking your doctor or nurse about what pain to expect and what options are available for pain management. You will need to ask for pain relief when the pain first begins, help the doctor or nurse measure your pain, and inform the doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved. We are here to ensure your comfort and safety.


Trained professionals will work together to care for you. You have the right to know the name of the physician, clinical psychologist, or other practitioner responsible for your treatment and to speak with that physician and others involved in your care. Stamford Hospital is a teaching hospital, and you may therefore meet doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in training who will participate in your care and treatment under the guidance of their supervisors.

You are entitled to care in a safe and supportive environment, free of abuse or harassment. We will work with you to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to support your right to access protective services. Before you leave the Hospital, we will work with you on your discharge plan and teach you what you need to know to continue to care for yourself at home.


You are entitled to make choices about your care. Your physician will explain the benefits, risks, and alternatives of all treatments so that you can make the decisions that are right for you.

You have the right to request a second opinion regarding your treatment and to request the names of other physicians able to provide such a second opinion.

You may refuse treatment as permitted by law. We will honor your choices and continue to provide you with the best care that the Hospital can offer under the circumstances.

You have the right to prepare advance directives which state your medical treatment wishes and to appoint a person to make medical care decisions for you should you become unable to do so. We will be happy to assist you in documenting your wishes and instructions. Stamford Health staff will provide care that is consistent with these directives.

You have the right to leave the Hospital against your physician’s advice, unless you have certain infectious diseases which may influence the health of others or unless you will be unable to maintain your safety, or the safety of others as defined by law. If you choose to leave the Hospital against medical advice, Stamford Health will not be responsible for any harm that this may cause, and we will ask that you document via signature that you are leaving against medical advice.


Stamford Health has patient directed visitation allowing an unrestricted visiting environment. You have the right to receive the visitors you designate, including but not limited to spouse, domestic partner (including same sex domestic partner), family member, or friend. Patients also have the right to withdraw or deny the consent to visitation at any time. Should you withdraw or deny consent to visitation, staff will act to accommodate such requests, to every extent possible. Your visitors will enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences. In addition, you will be informed of any clinical restriction or limitation on your visitation right. In situations where the patient is unable to communicate their wishes, the patient’s designated healthcare representative may establish visitation limitations.


In the event of a conflict concerning the care of a patient, the patient care team will work with the patient and family to reach a resolution. The department chief, patient relations partner, nursing management, administration and/or Ethics Committee are all available to help resolve the conflict. The Chief Executive Officer or their designee retains the final authority for addressing admission, treatment, and discharge issues.

Suggestions, Complaints, or Compliments

Stamford Hospital employs a Patient Relations Department to ensure the best possible service to our patients and their families. If you have a suggestion, complaint, or compliment about any aspect of your care here, we encourage you to contact our Patient Relations Department by dialing 203-276-2590. You may also ask the staff to contact a patient relations partner for you. The Patient Relations Department will make every effort to resolve your complaint in a timely manner.

You may also voice concerns or complaints by contacting the Health Systems Regulations, Department of Public Health, located at 410 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06134, (860) 509-7400 and/or The Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring, One Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181, (630) 792-5000 at (800) 994-6610.

You may also file a complaint of discrimination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, which is available at: or by mail at: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201.

Meeting your needs

If you need an interpreter, we will provide one. If you need special equipment, we will obtain it for you. We will help you contact friends and family by telephone or by mail. Should you have any other needs, we will do our best to accommodate them. Please notify your nursing staff. We will work to ensure any cultural, dietary and religious needs are met.

Autopsy Notice

Connecticut law requires that we inform you, as part of your patient Bill of Rights, about rights to request an autopsy. The law provides that your next of kin or the person legally designated by you to have custody and control of your body if you are deceased may make arrangements for an autopsy to be performed at Stamford Hospital or another institution and these same persons must also consent to have such an autopsy performed. If an autopsy is desired, your next of kin or legal representative may:

  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by Stamford Pathology, P.C. and in cases where an autopsy is medically indicated, the autopsy will be performed free of charge; otherwise, this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin or legal representative.
  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by a pathologist who is not affiliated with Stamford Hospital; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin or legal representative.
  • Have the autopsy conducted at another facility; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin or legal representative.

Patient Responsibilities

  • You are responsible for providing accurate and complete medical information to your physician and other involved staff.
  • You are responsible for following the treatment plan developed by your physician and to ask questions if something is unclear or if you require additional information.
  • You are responsible for the health consequences if you refuse medical treatment or do not follow your physician’s treatment plan.
  • You have financial responsibility for payment for the care that is provided to you at Stamford Health. You are responsible for providing us with up-to-date insurance information, so that we can make every effort to submit insurance claims in a timely manner.
  • You are responsible for your own personal belongings and for being respectful of the personal belongings of other patients, and staff at Stamford Health. A safe is provided in each patient’s room and we are happy to secure any valuable in our Security Department Safe.
  • You are responsible for being considerate of the rights and needs of other patients and Hospital staff. Photography, videotaping, audio recording and livestreaming are prohibited at Stamford Health.
  • You are responsible for following Stamford Health’s rules and regulations regarding medical care and conduct. Stamford Health is a place of healing and mutual respect. We have zero tolerance for disrespectful or aggressive behavior towards staff, patients, or visitors.
  • You are responsible for protecting your health and safety by not smoking (including but not limited to the use of tobacco, and vapor products) on Stamford Health property.
  • Weapons and other illegal contraband are prohibited on Stamford Health property.

If you have a suggestion, question, complaint or compliment about any aspect of your care here, we encourage you to contact our Patient Relations Department by dialing extension 2590 or calling (203) 276-2590.
Suggestions, Questions, Complaints or Compliments
We want your voice heard! No concern is too big or too small.

If you have a safety concern, please call us any time at 855.571.0887.

You may file an anonymous report online
Patient Safety Hotline
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203.276.4108

Confidential Compliance Hotline

Option to file anonymously
Submit online or call: 844.988.1682
HIPAA or Privacy Concerns?
If you require language help, members of your care team are happy to make arrangements for interpreter services, free of charge.
Language Assistance Services 

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