Patient Rights and Responsibilities
We are committed to delivering quality medical care to you and to making
your stay as pleasant as possible. The Saint Clare’s
Patients Bill of Rights was developed by the New Jersey Department of Health, and cover medical
care, information, records, your bill, your personal needs and your right
to privacy and confidentiality. The administration and staff Saint Clare’s
Health System endorse these rights. It is our goal to provide effective,
considerate medical care within our capacity, mission, philosophy, applicable
law, and regulation.
A synopsis of this Bill of Rights is posted in your room. Guest Services
can answer any questions you may have about your rights and help you take
advantage of them.
To contact a patient representative, call 973-989-3189.
Make Your Wishes Known
Under New Jersey law, you have the right to make informed choices about
healthcare, but it is imperative that you first communicate those choices
before they can be carried out accordingly. It is important to give serious
thought to treatment preferences ahead of time. You should discuss your
preferences with your family and physicians. It is important they know
what your wishes are. If you have a Power of Attorney for Healthcare or
an Advance Directive, you should make your family and physician aware
so that your wishes can be carried out should you become incapacitated.
You can change your choices at any time by notifying your physician and
family. You should bring a copy of your Advance Directive and/or Durable
Power of Attorney for Healthcare to the hospital each time you are admitted.
Advance Directive – This is a legal document that states your wishes regarding your
medical care should you, as a patient, become either incapacitated, suffer
a terminal condition or become permanently unconscious.
Durable Power of Attorney (POA) – This is a legal document that designates another person to make
medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) – POLST is a medical order form that empowers individuals by carefully
detailing their personal wishes regarding end-of-life care. It can help
you make meaningful personal choices regarding your care and ensure that
every member of the healthcare team understands and respects those choices.
The form provides a mechanism for a patient to communicate his/her preferences
about a range of life-sustaining treatments as well as resuscitation status
with his/her physician or Advance Practice Nurse. The POLST form may complement
Advance Directives, if available, and does not totally replace that document.
The decision by the patient to complete a POLST form is voluntary. However,
once the form is completed, it is immediately actionable, portable, and
authoritative by New Jersey State Law. Unlike an advance directive, POLST
is not appropriate for healthy individuals. POLST is to be used for people
who have a life limiting illness, are medically frail or are concerned
of losing the capacity to make their own healthcare decisions in the near
future. Your POLST form will travel with you and must be honored in all
of your healthcare settings. And you can modify your POLST form at any time.
Saint Clare's has developed Putting Your Healthcare Needs in Writing,
in both English and Spanish (Espanol), to provide additional detail on
Living Wills and other Advance Healthcare Directives. Advance Directives
and Living Wills can be developed in conjunction with your attorney or
can be easily set-up through convenient forms that Saint Clare's has
developed in both English and Spanish (Espanol).
To create an Advance Directive, visit
U.S Living Will Registry – a free service that electronically stores advance directives and
makes them available to healthcare providers 24 hours a day – or
ask your nurse or social worker for information.
Ethics Consultation Services
It is the policy of Saint Clare’s Health System to provide Ethics
Consultation Services when requested by the patient, family or staff.
The purpose of a consultation is to provide assistance in resolving ethical
dilemmas when they arise in the course of patient care. The goals of Ethics
Consultations may include, but are not limited to:
- Fostering an inclusive decision making process when ethical dilemmas arise
- Facilitating the resolution of conflicts
- Providing ethics education in the clinical setting
- Improving the quality of patient care
- Protecting patient rights
- Enhancement and improvement of professional practice
Ethics consultations may be initiated through your nurse or the administrator
on call. Social Services may also be contacted to initiate a consultation.
The Ethics Committee members participate in the facilitation of consultations.
Saint Clare’s Hospital believes that the most precious gift that
one can give to another is the gift of life. The New Jersey Organ and
Tissue Sharing Network is a federally certified organ procurement organization,
providing a link between people awaiting transplants and potential donors.
The network and Saint Clare’s Hospital work together to offer a
comprehensive organ and tissue donation program for patients. If you are
interested in receiving information on organ and tissue donation, call
the Sharing Network at 1-800-SHARE-NJ. Patients should advise their family
and physicians if they have signed an organ-donor card or wish to be an
organ or tissue donor.