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Patient Rights

Visits and Telephone Calls

You have the right to receive visitors of your own choosing daily and in private, at reasonable times. You have the right to reasonable access to a telephone to make and receive confidential calls, unless the calls violate a criminal law or would unreasonably infringe on other persons’ use of the telephone. You also have the right to visit or talk by telephone with your attorney or legal advocate, physician, psychologist, clergy, or social worker, at reasonable times.

When visits or telephone use may be temporarily suspended

Your right to telephone calls and to have visitors may not be restricted unless such access presents an imminent risk of harm (based on your history of visits or calls) and there is no other less-restrictive way of preventing that harm, or unless such access significantly interferes with the operation of the facility. This restriction may not last longer than necessary and must be documented with specific facts in your medical record.

Mail

You have the right to send and receive sealed, unopened, and uncensored mail. However, for good cause, your mail may be opened and inspected in front of you without it being read by staff, for the sole purpose of preventing contraband coming into the hospital. Additionally, you have the right to be provided with stationery and postage in reasonable amounts.

Personal Possessions and Searches

You have the right to wear your own clothes and to keep personal items, including certain toilet articles, as safety permits. You have the right to individual storage space and to keep and spend a small amount of money. You have the right not to have unreasonable searches of yourself or your possessions.

Religion

You have the right to exercise your religious beliefs.

Psychological and Physical Environment

You have the right to a humane psychological and physical environment. You must be provided living quarters and accommodations that afford you privacy and security in resting, sleeping, dressing, reading, writing, bathing, toileting, and in practicing personal hygiene. This does not include the right to individual sleeping quarters.

Fresh Air

You have the right to reasonable daily access to the outdoors. These activities may be dependent on weather conditions as well as your clinical condition and safety, as determined by your treating clinicians.

Personal Affairs

You do not lose the right to vote, hold a driver’s license, marry, enter into contracts, and draft a will because you have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital or inpatient program. However, these rights may be affected by the terms of a guardianship or by your mental status.

Interpreter

You have the right to an interpreter at no cost to you.