Dear Patient:
Welcome to Down East Community Hospital. We understand the trust you have placed in us by choosing to come here for your health care. We pledge to do everything we can to fulfill our responsibility to you.

We would like you to know what your rights as a patient are and what will be needed from you for effective care. Your rights are described on the next two pages. What we need from you is found on the third page.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Chief Executive Officer
President, Medical Staff
President, Board of Trustees

Your rights as a patient include:

  • having information you need to make choices about your care. Your care givers will answer your questions, explain your condition, and the risks and benefits of the treatment available.
  • responding to your needs within the hospital’s ability. If your needs cannot be met here, you will be informed and a safe transfer to an accepting facility will be arranged.
  • making decisions about your care. This includes the rights to request, accept, or refuse care and to know the risks of refusing. Your advance directive will be recognized and used when needed.
  • managing your pain. Your care givers will frequently ask questions about your pain so it can be treated during your time at the hospital.
  • having someone of your choosing to speak and act for you. If you can no longer communicate, you can still be involved through your chosen representative.
  • having confidential and private care. Visits with your care givers will be private. Your medical record is protected, too, but you may ask to see it.
  • sharing in ethical decisions. If your care involves an ethical issue, your wishes will be respected. The hospital Ethics Committee can be contacted by asking your doctor, nurse, or social worker.
  • receive information about the person(s) responsible for your care and treatment.
  • being informed of any experimental or teaching projects in your care. Your consent will be requested before any project begins, and you have the right to refuse. If you refuse, this will not affect your rights to receive care.
  • having information about the way to express your complaints and compliments. Ask any staff member how to proceed. Your concerns will be addressed and a response offered as soon as possible. If you need a quicker response, you may contact the Chief Nursing Officer or the Chief Executive Officer immediately. You may also contact the Division of Licensing and Certification at (207) 624-5443, or
    442 Civic Center Drive, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.
  • being safe while you are here including having protective services if you need them. Please let your doctor, nurse, or social worker know if you feel you are being abused, neglected, or harassed in any way.
  • having pastoral care. You may, at any time, ask to have your pastor or other spiritual advisor visit you. You may also request that your nurse provide you with the names of clergy who are available to offer spiritual assistance.
  • communicating in a way that you can understand. Your care givers will make every effort to arrange to have individuals who can translate information into the language that you understand most. This includes American Sign, Spanish, and French. Any restrictions on communications such as visits from your family and friends will be explained and based on a medical reason.

What is needed from you:

  • Tell us about your condition, your health history, medicines you are taking, and other facts about your health. Tell your nurse if you are in pain.
  • Follow the instructions of your care givers and ask questions that you may have. It is your responsibility to let us know if you would like to refuse treatment. You are responsible for the results of refusing.
  • Follow hospital rules and respect the rights of other patients and hospital staff. Respect the property of those around you and of the hospital.
  • Provide information needed for insurance payments and other billing functions.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand your care or treatment or what you are expected to do.

(The term “patient” includes patient, parent, agent, guardian, or other surrogate as appropriate to the situation)