Patient Information Guide
Yakima Regional will not participate in Death with Dignity
After careful consideration, Yakima Regional has decided not to participate in Initiative 1000, the Washington State Death with Dignity Act.
“After talking with our medical staff, board of trustees and patients, Yakima Regional has decided to opt out of Death with Dignity,” said Kathy Whitener, Vice President of Risk and Quality Management. “Yakima County voted against this Initiative, which also played a factor in our decision.”
The decision not to participate means that no physician, pharmacist, nurse, employee or volunteer may help a patient end their life in facilities owned by Yakima Regional. Any provider who violates this policy is eligible for hospital sanctions. Providers may independently contract outside of their role with Yakima Regional to participate in the act, off hospital premises.
Yakima Regional will continue to provide the highest quality care to all residents of the Yakima Valley. Any patient wishing to participate in the act will be assisted in transferring to another participating facility. Patients will also be able to receive information about the act and other end of life options, including hospice, so that a fully informed decision can be made.
“Our goal is to give our patients all of the tools they need to make decisions about end of life care,” Whitener said.
For more information about the Death with Dignity Act, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website.
Patient Rights and Responsibilities
As a patient at Yakima Regional, we believe you should share in the responsibility of your care. Open lines of communication are vital to understanding your care, as well as helping your caretakers understand your wants and needs. We encourage you to participate in all decisions regarding your healthcare.
As a patient at Yakima Regional, you have the right to:
- Considerate and respectful care.
- Be informed of your health status, and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
- Make informed decisions (in a language you can understand) about your care, including the right to request or refuse care. You will be given an explanation of the procedure, the expected benefits, significant risks involved, and reasonable alternatives.
- Refuse to participate in research projects without compromising your access to services.
- Know the names of all doctors treating you, which doctor is coordinating your care, and the right to change physicians. This information will be given to you upon admission and with changes in care or treatment.
- Know the name and role of each person who assists in your care.
- Lodge a complaint with hospital officials, the Department of Health, the Joint Commission, or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services for breach of privacy.
- Information regarding hospital policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment and responsibilities, as well as resources for resolving disputes, grievances and conflicts.
- Supportive social and pastoral services, including the right to access protective services (adult and child).
- Privacy and confidentiality in regards to discussion of your health care and medical records.
- The right to view, obtain copies, limit use and request a list of disclosures of your medical record in compliance with law.
- Examine your bill and have it explained to you.
- Have free communication, including visitors, mail and telephone calls, unless restrictions are evaluated for their therapeutic effectiveness, fully explained to you and your family, and are determined with your participation.
- Designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation priveleges as would your "immediate family," regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to you.
- Restrict information in the hospital directory (callers will be told the hospital has no information about your condition, and your presence at the hospital will be neither confirmed nor denied).
- Submit your advance directives to your health care team for inclusion in your medical records and have assistance in formulating a directive if you desire.
- Be informed if the hospital becomes aware of any circumstances in which your advance directive cannot be honored.
- Be informed before you are transferred to another health care facility of the benefits of transfer, the risks involved, and the alternatives to transfer.
- Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
- Have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- Personal privacy and to receive care in a safe setting, free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
- Be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary.
- Be contacted in a manner you choose.
As a patient at Yakima Regional, you are responsible for:
- Providing information that is accurate and complete about your medical history, medications and treatments.
- Reporting perceived risks in your care or any unexpected change in your condition, and giving the hospital feedback about our services and issues related to patient safety.
- Asking questions when you do not understand what you have been told about your care or what you are expected to do.
- Following instructions given about your care or treatment plan and expressing any concerns if you can not comply with the plan.
- Accepting consequences for the outcome if you do not follow the care or treatment plan developed by your healthcare team.
- Following rules and regulations of the hospital concerning patient care and conduct.
- Showing respect and consideration for the hospital's personnel, property and equipment.
- Meeting financial obligations agreed to with the hospital and asking for an explanation if you have questions regarding your bill.
- Leaving valuables at home or taking total responsibility for them if you do not lock them in the hospital safe.
These rights and responsibilities are designed so that you receive the best care possible. With your help, we will be able to continue to provide high quality healthcare for years to come.