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Patient Rights

Filing a Complaint

You have the right to file a Department of Mental Health complaint if you believe your care or treatment is inhumane, dangerous, or illegal. Hospital employees or the McLean civil rights officer will assist you in filing a complaint if you request assistance. Complaint forms are available in each program. Issues regarding individual care and treatment should first be discussed with your treatment team before filing a complaint. In the event that further assistance is needed, you may contact the clinical director of your program. Clinical issues that have not been satisfactorily resolved by your treatment team or the clinical director may be referred to the civil rights officer at 617.855.3406. The civil rights officer will investigate and issue a written decision within 10 days.

Reconsideration

You have the right to request reconsideration of the decision issued as indicated above. Such a request must be sent to the person who issued the decision and must be done in writing within 10 days of receipt of the decision. Such a request must specify the failure to interview an essential witness or the failure to consider an important fact or factor. The decision of such a reconsideration will be issued within 10 days of receipt of the request for reconsideration.

Appeals

You have the right to appeal either a decision on the original complaint or a decision on a reconsideration. All appeals must be made in writing within 10 days of receipt of the applicable decision. Forms are available from the hospital’s chief quality and risk management officer.

Appeal from decision of civil rights officer

Your appeal must be made to the DMH licensing director who shall investigate and render a decision within 40 days from receiving the appeal. You have the right to further appeal a decision to the DMH commissioner who shall issue a final decision on an appeal within 30 days of its receipt.

Appeal from decision of DMH licensing director

Your appeal must be made to the DMH commissioner who shall issue a final decision within 30 days.

Access to legal advocacy organizations

Upon admission or upon your request at any time while you are hospitalized, you must be provided with contact information for the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Center for Public Representation, Disability Law Center, and other organizations listed below. These groups offer free legal assistance to psychiatric patients; you must be provided reasonable assistance in contacting attorneys or paralegals from these organizations and in meeting with them if they visit the hospital.

Civil Rights

Issues regarding a patient’s civil rights or hospitalization may be discussed with the McLean civil rights officer in Belmont at 617.855.3406 or the McLean civil rights officer in Middleborough at 774.419.1015.