DSH - Atascadero

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DSH - Atascadero: Patient Rights

All patients have the same constitutional and statutory rights guaranteed all other individuals by the federal and state constitution and human rights of the patients. The Advocate promotes the delivery of quality treatment services, while optimizing the patient's opportunity to exercise his rights.

Summary of Patient Rights

As a maximum security facility, certain legal rights are restricted. These are in bold.

  • A right to treatment services
  • A right to dignity, privacy, and humane care
  • A right to prompt medical care and treatment
  • A right to religious freedom and practice
  • A right to participate in appropriate programs of publicly supported education
  • A right to social interaction and participation in community activities. "Community" refers to general patient access areas within the secured perimeters of the hospital
  • A right to physical exercise and recreational opportunities
  • A right to be free from hazardous procedures
  • To wear one's own clothes. Patients are required to wear hospital-issued clothing
  • To keep and use one's own personal possessions, including toiletry articles
  • To keep in their hospital account an unlimited amount of funds for canteen purchases and miscellaneous expenses. A Bar Code Identification System is used for patients to obtain access to their funds for canteen purchases only.
  • To have access to individual storage space for the patient's private use
  • To see visitors each day To have reasonable access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential calls
  • To have ready access to letter writing materials, including stamps, and to mail and receive unopened correspondence
  • To refuse convulsive treatment including, but not limited to, any electroconvulsive treatment, any treatment of the mental condition which depends on the induction of a convulsion by any means, and insulin coma treatment
  • To refuse psychosurgery