Patient Rights

As a patient in a hospital in New York State, you have a right, consistent with law, to:

1. Understand and use these rights. If for any reason you do not understand or you need help, the hospital MUST provide assistance, including an interpreter.
2. Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment or age.
3. Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
4. Receive emergency care if you need it.
5. Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
6. Know the names, positions and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their treatment, examination or observation.
7. A no smoking room.
8. Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
9. Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.
10. Receive all the information you need to give informed consent for an order not to resuscitate. You also have the right to designate an individual to give this consent for you if you are too ill to do so. If you would like additional information, please ask for a copy of the pamphlet "Do Not Resuscitate Orders - A Guide for Patients & Families".
11. Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
12. Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
13. Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
14. Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital. The hospital must provide you with a written discharge plan and written description of how you can appeal your discharge.
15. Review your medical record without charge. Obtain a copy of your medical record for which the hospital can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
16. Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
17. Complain without fear of reprisals about the care and services you are receiving and to have the hospital respond to you and if you request it, a written response. If you are not satisfied with the hospital's response, you can complain to the New York State Health Department. The hospital must provide you with the Health Department phone number.
18. Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
19. Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your health care proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.

Concerns/Problems/Complaints About Your Hospital Care

If you have concerns, problems or complaints related to any aspect of care during your hospital visit or stay, please speak to your physician, nurse or a hospital staff member. If you feel your physician, nurse or staff member has not resolved your concern, please contact the Patient Relations Manager at 315-785-4679 or by mail at Samaritan Medical Center, Attention: Patient Relations Manager, 830 Washington Street, Watertown, New York 13601.

You have the right to file your complaint with the New York State Department of Health regardless of utilizing Samaritan's Patient Relations Program. You may contact New York State Department of Health at 1-800-804-5447 or by mail at New York State Department of Health, Centralized Hospital Intake Program, 433 River Street 6th Floor, Troy, New York 12180. Questions or comment email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If your concerns cannot be resolved through the hospital, you may contact the Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about a Joint Commission-accredited health care organization by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.