Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The policy of Texas Children’s Hospital is to provide the best possible treatment to all patients at all times, under all circumstances, and in an equitable and humane manner.

No person shall be denied access to available and medically indicated treatment or accommodations on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or source of payment for care.

Each patient (or medical decision-maker where applicable) has the following rights:

Rights to information

  • Each patient or medical decision-maker has the right to receive information in a manner and/or language he/she can understand about:
  • Patient rights at the time of admission
  • Name and specialty of all physicians participating in the case
  • Nature and extent of the medical problem, the planned course of treatment and outcomes
  • Details necessary to give informed consent before a procedure or treatment, including options for effective management of pain
  • Hospital rules and regulations as they apply to patients and parents
  • How to resolve complaints concerning the quality of care or service

Rights related to care

While in the hospital, each patient or medical decision-maker has the right to:

  • Have a designated family member and primary-care provider notified upon admission, if desired by the medical decision-maker
  • Receive appropriate assessment and effective management of pain pertinent to his/her medical condition
  • Participate in care in an informed manner and make decisions about healthcare through discussion with his/her physician
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of this action
  • Regard participation in data-gathering for research as voluntary and feel free to refuse to participate without compromising access to current or future care
  • Safeguard his/her right to personal privacy
  • Maintain confidentiality of personal health information
  • Receive care in a safe environment, to the extent the hospital can control that environment
  • Access to protective services
  • Expect that the hospital will respond to a request for services in a reasonable manner
  • Receive considerate care that respects the patient’s personal values and beliefs
  • Be kept free of restraints, unless medically necessary
  • Receive visitors of their choice, including a spouse, a domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partners), another family member, or a friend and also of their right to withdraw or deny consent at any time
  • Not restrict visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability
  • Visitation may be limited due to clinically necessary or reasonable restriction due to clinical status
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital bill, regardless of payment source
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care and be informed of continuing healthcare requirements following discharge

Rights of recourse

Each patient or medical decision-maker has the right to:

  • Participate in discussion of ethical issues relating to care. Concerns may be reported to the Bioethics Committee by notifying Medical Staff Services.
  • Receive information on how to resolve complaints about quality of care or service through the following Texas Children's process:
    • Speak with your child's nurse, who will attempt to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
    • If the complaint cannot be resolved promptly, call Family Advocacy at 832-824-1919. A Family Advocacy representative will make contact to explore further if satisfaction can be achieved. Know that presentation of a complaint or grievance will not compromise current care or future access to care.
    • If a complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a formal, written grievance with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
      Texas Department of State Health Services
      1100 W. 49th St.
      Austin TX, 78756-3199
      800-735-2989 (TDD)
    • You also may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns about a Joint Commission-accredited health care organization by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing
    • Medicare patients have the right to contact the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) in the state of Texas:
      TMF Health Quality Institute
      Review and Compliance
      Bridgepoint I, Suite 300
      5918 West Courtyard Dr.
      Austin, TX 78730-5036
      1-800-725-8315 or 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

Patient responsibilities

Proper patient care depends on the acceptance of certain responsibilities. The patient or the medical decision-maker has the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information about his/her health and report changes in his/her condition or perceived risks in care
  • Ask questions when he/she does not understand what he/she has been told about care or what he/she is expected to do
  • Follow the prescribed treatment plan and report to the physician any side effects. If the patient refuses treatment or fails to follow the directions of his/her physician or proper hospital personnel, he/she will be responsible for his/her actions
  • Assure that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled
  • Follow the hospital rules and regulations and be considerate of the rights of others at the hospital, such as assisting in the control of noise, smoking and number of visitors