Addiction & Treatment

Clients’ Bill of Rights

A. Clients’ Rights

As a patient in Wisconsin receiving services for mental illness, developmental disabilities, alcoholism or drug dependency, you are entitled to the following rights under the law:

1. Rights of Inpatients and Outpatients:

a. The right to be informed of your rights as a patient (Sec. 51.61(1)(a), Wis.Stats.). All clients will be given a copy of Clients’ Bill of Rights. These rights and the grievance process will also be reviewed orally with the client on admission.
b. The right to the least restrictive treatment conditions necessary (Sec. 51.61(1)(e)).
c. The right to receive prompt and adequate treatment (Sec. 51.61(1)(f)).
d. The right to refuse medication and treatment (except for court orders and emergencies) prior to commitment (Sec. 51.61(1)(g)).
e. The right to be free from unnecessary or excessive medications at any time (Sec. 51.61(1)(g)).
f. The right to humane psychological and physical environment (Sec. 51.61(1)).
g. The right to petition the court for review of your commitment order (Sec. 51.61(1)(d)).
h. The right to confidentiality of all treatment records, to review and copy certain records and to challenge the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or relevance of information in your records in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 51.30, Wis. Stats. (Sec. 51.61(1)(n)).
i. The right not to be filmed or taped without your permission (Sec. 51.61(1)(o)).
j. The right of access to a grievance procedure to ensure your rights (Sec. 51.61(5)).
k. The right to go to court if you believe your rights were violated (Sec. 51.61(7)).

2. Rights Applicable to Inpatients:

a. The law does not distinguish among rights on the basis of inpatient or outpatient status, but the following rights are more applicable to inpatient settings: The right to refuse to do work that is of financial benefit to the facility, or, if you volunteer for such work, the right to be paid wages according to a plan approved by the Department of Health and Social Services. This right does not apply to work of a personal housekeeping nature such as making your bed or cleaning your room. (Sec. 51.61(1)(b)).
b. The right to send and receive sealed mail. (Sec. 51.61(1)(c)).

Clients of Beacon will be able to receive and send sealed and unopened correspondence. No client’s incoming or outgoing correspondence shall be opened, delayed, held or censored unless drugs are suspected of being transferred, in which case, client will be asked to open correspondence in front of a staff member.

c. The right to religious worship (Sec. 51.61(1)(l)).
d. The right to make and receive phone calls (Sec. 51.61(1)(p)). A maximum time limit of 10 minutes per call is required as a courtesy to all clients.
*e. The right to use and wear your own clothing and personal articles (Sec. 51.61(1)(q)).
*f. The right to a reasonable amount of secure storage space (Sec. 51.61(1)(r)).
*g. The right to privacy in toileting and bathing (Sec. 51.61(1)(t)).
*h. The right to see visitors each day (Sec. 51.61(1)(t)).
*i. The right to retain your rights as a citizen (e.g., voting, marriage, obtaining a drivers license) (Sec. 51.59).
* These rights may be denied for cause following an informal hearing (Sec. 51.61(2)).

B. Denial of Rights

In the event the Executive Director feels there is good cause for denial or limitation of a right, written notice shall be provided to the client and a copy placed in the client’s file. This written notice shall state that the client has the right to an informal hearing. It shall also state specific conditions for restoring the right, the expected duration of the denial or limitation and the specific reason for the denial. (See Form for Denial of Rights, which is given to client and a copy placed in client’s record).

C. Procedure Grievance

If you feel your rights were violated you may file a grievance. The client rights specialist for Beacon is:

Mary Jagdfeld
St. Agnes Hospital
430 E. Division Street
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
(920) 929-2300