Hospital Policies

Meridian Health and our hospitals have several hospital policies meant to protect and serve you.

We encourage you to take the time to explore the various rights and policies you are provided as a patient.

Patient Bill of Rights

Patients receiving services at the hospitals of Meridian Health are entitled to the following information:

  • Available services and the providers of those services
  • Hospital charges and fees
  • Diagnosis and treatment options
  • Participation in research
  • Patient refusal of medication and treatment
  • Grievance procedures

Additional patient rights include:

  • Freedom from restraints (unless authorized by a physician for limited periods of time)
  • Prompt acknowledgment of and response to reports of pain in order to control and/or minimize it
  • Courteous treatment, with respect for each patient's civil rights and without discrimination based on age, race, religion, sex, nationality, or ability to pay

Legal Rights:

  • To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, disability, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay, or source of payment.
  • To exercise all your constitutional, civil, and legal rights.

Nondiscrimination Policy:
As a recipient of funding through Federal Health Care programs, Meridian Health does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the ground of race, color, or national origin, or on the basis of disability or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits under any of its programs and activities. This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. (For further information about this policy, contact Guest Relations).

Advance Directives (Living Wills)
Advance directive laws ensure your right to determine the course of your treatment should you become incapacitated. To learn more about advance directives, also known as "living wills," please see the "Important Decisions" brochure in your admission packet

Organ and Tissue Donation
Today, thousands of people are leading full and productive lives because of organ and tissue donation. However, due to a drastic shortage of organ donors, many of those waiting for a transplant will not have this opportunity. In fact, nearly 90,000 Americans are waiting for life-saving organ transplants, and 4,000 of them reside in New Jersey.

Meridian Health is committed to raising awareness about the life-saving gift of organ and tissue donation. Our hospitals works closely with NJ Sharing Network, a New Jersey-based, federally certified, state-approved organ recovery organization.

To become an organ donor, simply fill out an organ donor card. In addition, when renewing your driver's license, ask a representative how to indicate donor status on your new license. It is also important to discuss your wishes about organ and tissue donation with your family. For more information about giving the gift of life, please call NJ Sharing Network at 1-800-SHARE-NJ or visit their website,

Ethics Consultation
Ethics consultation is an advisory service designed to assist professionals, patients, family members, and staff in making ethical decisions related to health issues. For further information or to request assistance, please page the Bioethics Consult Committee anytime by dialing the operator.

Providing the Best Care Possible
In order to provide the best care possible for our patients, many of our hospitals hold regular "Schwartz Center Rounds" to provide a forum for our hospital caregivers to discuss the emotional aspects of caregiving. A comprehensive study of Schwartz Center Rounds has shown that they help caregivers connect better with patients emotionally; enhance their understanding of the effects of illness on patients and their families; improve communication among caregivers and decrease feelings of caregiver isolation and stress. Schwartz Center Rounds are funded by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing compassionate health care. For more information about Schwartz Center Rounds, visit