Your rights and responsibilities as a hospital patient

You have certain rights and responsibilities as a patient in a Minnesota hospital. These rights and responsibilities help you take an active role in your health care and promote your well-being and recovery.

Your rights

You have a right to:

  • receive medical and personal care that is:
    • courteous and respectful
    • based upon your specific needs
  • know the name of the doctor or other health care provider who is responsible for coordinating your care
  • have complete and current information about your treatment so you can make informed decisions; this includes:
    • knowing the diagnosis, treatment, alternatives, risks and most likely results
    • having the information stated in terms and words you understand
    • having a family member or other chosen person present when you talk with your health care provider if you wish
  • see a copy of your medical records as allowed by law
  • be cared for with reasonable regularity and continuity of staff (as allowed by facility policy)
  • know what services are available at the facility
  • quick and reasonable response to your questions and requests
  • join in discussions about your care or treatment; this includes:
    • being able to discuss treatments and alternatives
    • being able to attend formal care conferences
    • having a family member or other chosen person with you if you feel more comfortable that way
    • having a family member or other chosen person speak for you if you cannot do so yourself unless you have stated otherwise in writing
  • refuse care
  • be free from restraints that are not medically necessary and be free from abusive or harassing behavior
  • have privacy for medical and personal care; this includes:
    • discussions, exams, treatments
    • medical records (except where a release of records is authorized by law)
    • personal hygiene activities
  • have personal privacy with respect to your preferences (such as cultural, social or religious preferences) and for communications with others (such as phone calls or mail)
  • have an interpreter provided with no charge
  • make a formal grievance and recommend changes in the facility's policies or services without fear of revenge or punishment

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for:

  • showing respect and consideration for the facility staff and property
  • providing accurate and complete information about your health and reporting any changes in it
  • asking questions when you do not understand what you have been told about the care being offered to you or what you are being asked to do
  • following the care or treatment plan developed with you
  • reporting any risks you think are related to your care as well as any unexpected changes in your condition
  • accepting the consequences if you don't follow the care or treatment plan
  • paying for charges related to your care

More information

This is a brief summary of your rights and responsibilities.

If you would like more information:

  • ask your health care provider for a copy of the Minnesota Patients' Bill of Rights or Wisconsin Patients' Bill of Rights
  • visit the Minnesota Department of Health's Web site to download the Patients' Bill of Rights in English or in other languages
  • visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services' Web site to download the Patients' Bill of Rights in English
  • contact or call the Minnesota Department of Health:
    • Office of Health Facility Complaints, P.O. Box 64970, St. Paul, MN 55164-0970
    • phone: 651-201-4201 or 1-800-369-7994
  • contact or call the Wisconsin Department of Health Services:
    • Client Rights Office, P.O. Box 7851, Madison, WI 53707-7851
    • phone: 608-266-9369


Allina Health uses handouts in these languages to inform patients of their rights:

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Patient, gen-ahc-14016
First Published: 05/01/2006
Last Reviewed: 10/15/2011