Patient Rights and Responsibilities

It is the goal of Tufts University Health Service to provide you the care that is right for your health condition or illness and to help you get well as soon as possible. The Health Service wants to give you this care keeping in mind your rights and needs as explained in the Massachusetts law, called the Patient Bill of Rights.

The following is a summary of your rights based on the Massachusetts law. Below that, you will find a list of your responsibilities to help us give you the best care while you are in the Health Service.

These Are Your Rights

  • You have the right to be treated in a caring and polite way.
  • You have the right to know all the facts we have about your illness, treatments, and possible outcomes. These facts will be given to you by your doctor or other healthcare provider.
  • You have the right to know the names of the people who are taking care of you and how they will help you or provide care for you. This is also true if you are being taken care of by students, resident doctors, or other people in training. 
  • You have the right to say yes to treatment. You also have the right to say no or refuse treatment.
  • You have the right to agree to have an advance directive, such as a healthcare proxy, which tells the hospital in which you are receiving treatment how you want to be treated and who you want to make decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself at the time. 
  • You have the right to be examined in private by your doctor or other healthcare provider, and you have the right to talk to your healthcare provider in private.
  • You have the right to look at your medical records and get a copy for a reasonable fee.
  • You have the right to take part in a research study if you are asked. You also have the right to say no if you do not want to take part.
  • You have the right to expect that we will try to get back to you as quickly as possible when you ask us to do something.
  • You, your family, or your guardians have the right to tell us when something is seriously wrong. This is called presenting a grievance or complaint. If you present a grievance, your care will not be affected in any way. Also, if you have a problem that you cannot solve with your health care provider or nurse, please call 617-627-3350 to speak to the Senior Director of Health and Wellness Services or email Michelle Bowdler.

These Are Your Responsibilities

In order to provide you the best care, we need your help and cooperation. In that spirit, we request that you: 

  • Be honest with us and tell us all you know about your present illness, including other times you have been in the hospital or sought care and anything else you know about your health that would help us treat you;
  • Tell us if you do not understand what our staff is saying to you or if you do not understand what they are telling you to do; also please tell us if you think you will not be able to do what is asked of you during your care; 
  • Respect the right of other patients to get medical care without being disturbed; 
  • Observe the NO SMOKING rules in the Health Service.

If you have any questions about these Rights and Responsibilities, or would like a complete copy of the law called the Massachusetts Patient Bill of Rights, please call or email Mrs. Cecile Fagan at the Health Service at 617-627-3351.