Patients' Rights: Essex County Hospital Center

Posted: Monday June 18, 2012

An array of paper documents and patient logs remain strewn across the faux marble tile floor in a small corner office. Numerous pages torn from the grasp of metal binder rings litter the tiled floor. Through a smashed window pane a breeze enters, rousing about the mix of papers like fallen leaves rustling about on an Autumn's day. Dismembered reports lay in disarray, amiss from sequential succession. Amongst a pillaged mess of confidential reports, carelessly abandoned upon closure of the institution, of a piece of yellow paper caught my attention. Titled in bold typography as "Patients' Rights", officially stamped with the Essex County emblem, and hole punched to fit a three-ring-binder followed a printed numerical list of rights once grated to patients admitted into the Essex County Hospital Center. As I cast eyes over the yellow sheet of paper I couldn't help but to chuckle upon reading the fourth right; for the mass of information worth of full names, phone numbers, and addresses scattered beneath my feet told the unsettling reality.


A numerical list of eighteen rights granted to patients, as originally compiled in Senate Act Number 1117.

The flip side of the paper listed the same information, however printed in Spanish.

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