SITE MAP General information Working With An Interpreter Becoming an Interpreter Interpreter Community
Patients' Rights
Process
Staff Languages
Non-Staff Languages
Off Hours & Holidays
Deaf & Hard Of Hearing
PATIENTS' RIGHTS  
     
  The State Law-Commonwealth of Massachusetts
As of July 1, 2001 non-English speaking and deaf or hard of hearing patients coming in to the Emergency Department or seeking acute psychiatric services have the right to a competent medical interpreter face to face or over the phone (for spoken languages) at no cost to them.

Office for Civil Rights Policy Guidance
Title VI prohibits discrimination against national origin as it affects people with Limited English Proficiency.
August 2000 - Clarification Guidance

Patients have the right to:

  • request a medical interpreter anytime, even if they speak limited English
  • use or refuse the MGH medical interpreter, face to face or over the phone

Helping patients exercise their right ensures:

  • effective communication
  • understanding of the medical information
  • compliance with follow up treatment
  • cooperation
  • satisfaction

REMEMBER, THE USE OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL INTERPRETERS PRESERVES PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY, ACCURACY AND THE PATIENTS’ RIGHT TO INFORMED CONSENT.