Milford Regional Medical Center in Massachusetts has introduced a new conduct policy stating that patients could be denied medical care for displaying offensive behavior, including inappropriate body language or tone of voice. The policy covers a range of inappropriate behaviors, such as offensive comments about race, religion, gender and orientation, refusal to see a clinician based on personal traits, and aggressive or intimidating threats. If patients breach these rules, the hospital might refuse future non-emergency medical care, though individuals will have the opportunity to defend themselves against accusations.
Massachusetts Hospital May Deny Care Based on Body Language and Tone of Voice
A Massachusetts hospital, Milford Regional Medical Center, has notified patients they may be denied medical care if they display inappropriate body language or tone of voice.
Dr. Peter Smulowitz, the chief medical officer, announced in a video that the hospital’s updated rules aim to maintain an inclusive environment.
‘Disrespectful, racist, discriminatory, hostile, or harassing words or actions will not be tolerated,’ said Smulowitz.
Offensive comments about race, religion, gender and orientation, refusal to see a clinician based on personal traits, aggressive threats, and vulgar acts are cited as examples of unacceptable behaviors.
Smulowitz stated that if these new rules are violated, the hospital might refuse future non-emergency medical care for the offending patients. However, accused individuals will be granted the opportunity to defend themselves.
He further explained, ‘We will carefully consider your response before we make any decisions about future care.’
This announcement came just days before Milford Regional Medical Center announced its corporate affiliation with UMass Memorial Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in Central Massachusetts.
UMass Memorial Health adopted a similar patient code of conduct in 2021, warning patients they may be discharged if they don’t abide by the expectations.
Other Massachusetts hospitals, including Mass General, have also adopted similar policies warning patients about potential discharge for non-compliance with their code of conduct.