Patient Rights

North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) emphasizes the importance of respecting patients’ rights to all members of our staff. A "patient bill of rights and responsibilities" is posted throughout our hospitals, in several languages.
    • Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities -- Excerpt

      We, your health care team, promise to preserve your individual rights listed here and ask for your cooperation. We also ask you and your visitors to understand your responsibilities as a patient of North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) and to be considerate of the rights of others. 

      As a patient at NSMC, you have these rights:

      • To be involved in all aspects of your care and treatment. 
      • To equitable, considerate, respectful care that includes consideration of your psycho-social, spiritual, cultural and personal values and beliefs. 
      • To know the identity and specialty of individuals involved in your care. To refuse to be observed, examined, or treated by students or by any other staff without jeopardizing your access to medical care. 
      • For patients suffering from any type of breast cancer, to receive information on all alternative treatments which are medically viable. 
      • To receive prompt, life-saving treatment without delay and to receive the most appropriate medical treatment and care available without regard to your economic status or the source of payment. 
      • To make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and NSMC policy, and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. This includes limitation of life sustaining treatment, for example withholding or withdrawing life sustaining measures. 
      • To include or exclude any or all family members from participating in your health care decisions. ? To consult with specialists (in addition to any already involved in your plan of care) at your own request and expense.
      • To expect a reasonable response to requests for appropriate and medically indicated care and services, within the capacity of NSMC. 
      • To expect that your pain and symptoms will be assessed and treated with the goal of minimizing your experience of pain and discomfort, to the extent clinically possible. 
      • For dying patients, to care which optimizes dignity through the treatment of symptoms (as desired by you or your Health Care Proxy), the management of pain, and the acknowledgement of psychosocial and spiritual concerns of you and your family. 
      • To expect reasonable continuity of care, and to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate. 
      • To participate or have your designated representative participate in the consideration of ethical issues which arise in your care. 
      • To exercise cultural and spiritual beliefs that do not interfere with the well being of others. 
      • To receive medically and factually accurate information prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception if you are a female rape victim and of 3 childbearing age, to be promptly offered emergency

      Patient and Family Relations

      North Shore Medical Center
      81 Highland Avenue
      Salem MA 01970


      Our Patient and Family Relations Department oversees patient satisfaction at NSMC. The Patient and Family Relations staff acts as a liaison between the patient and the hospital in their expressions of commendation or dissatisfaction and facilitate(s) the response necessary to assure all parties are treated with respect.

      Outside Agencies

      Massachusetts Department of Public Health
      Division of Healthcare Quality
      99 Chauncy Street, 2nd floor
      Boston, MA 02111


      Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
      200 Harvard Mill Square, Ste. 330
      Wakefield, MA 01880

      Consumer hotline: 800-377-0550
      The Joint Commission
      One Renaissance Boulevard
      Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

      Complaint hotline: 800-994-6610 or email

      Customer Service: 630-792-5800 or