Psychiatric Patient Rights and Responsibilities

New Mexico State Law provides specific safeguards for your rights while you are receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment at Mesilla Valley Hospital. The following information is designed to acquaint you and your family with those rights. Additional questions regarding your rights may be discussed with the staff or with your physician. If questions are not answered to your satisfaction, you may request a consultation with the Patient Rights advocate.

Basic Rights
You have a basic right to treatment which follows an individualized written treatment plan, which has been developed for you, with your participation, and to which you agree.  The fact of your hospitalization does not affect your legal competency.  You have the right to exercise your basic rights as a citizen such as voting.

Right to Treatment
You have the right to care and treatment, including, but not limited to:
1.    The right to humane psychological and physical environment that is clean, safe and comfortable.
2.    The right to reasonable privacy in sleeping and personal hygiene practices, unless curtailed by your physician for reasons of safety or therapy.
3.    The right to the least restrictive environment consistent with your treatment plan.
4.    The right to be free from pain.
5.    The right to unnecessary and excessive medication.
6.    The right to receive prompt and adequate medical attention for any physical ailment.
7.    The right to give your informed consent for any hazardous treatment or procedure.

Right to Communicate
You have the right to communicate freely with others unless specifically restricted in your treatment plan or by your physician. Your specific rights include:
1.    The right to receive visitors of your own choosing at a specified visiting hours.
2.    The right to visit with your attorney, physician, psychologist, clergyman or social worker in private at reasonable times, including times other than visiting hours, if reasonable cause is shown for this.
3.    The right to ready access to letter-writing materials and to send and receive sealed and uncensored mail, unless restricted by your physician for good cause.  All incoming mail must, however, be opened in the presence of a staff member.
4.    The right to have reasonable access to telephones and to make and receive confidential calls unless restricted by your physician for good cause.

Personal Rights
You have the right to personal privileges consistent with health and safety consideration, including, but not limited to:
1.    The opportunity for daily physical exercise and access to recreational areas and equipment.
2.    The right to a nourishing, well-balanced, ,varied and appetizing diet.
3.    The right to wear personal clothing and maintain personal appearance according to your individual taste.
4.    The right to observe or abstain from religious practices.  You must be free from all pressure to accept a religious belief or to engage in religious practices.

Within Good Reason
Your physician may limit the following rights:
1.    The right to see any information the facility has about you.
2.    The right to make a number of reasonable phone calls in private.
3.    The right to have visitors during visitor hours.
4.    The right to have writing material at your disposal, including stamps, help writing, help addressing and mailing to your desired location.

Statement of Patient’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of all patients, family members, visitors, etc.:
1.    To respect the privacy and confidentiality of all other patients.
2.    To function within the rules and regulations of the institution.
3.    To respect the rights and property of other patients and those of staff members.
4.    To participate in the treatment planning so far as his/her ability will permit.
5.    To groom, bathe, and dress him or herself.
6.    To carry out normal housekeeping tasks, as would be appropriate, such as bed-making and room, clothing, bathroom and living area maintenance.
7.    To be responsible for being honest and direct about everything that relates to you as a patient.
8.    To tell those who are caring for you exactly how you feel about the things that are happening to you, including any abuse and/or neglect.

Updated 5/29/15