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Respecting the Dignity of All Patients

University Hospitals recognizes that all patients have basic individual rights and responsibilities; and, as such, will endeavor to support and respect the basic human dignity of each patient as well as the civil, constitutional and statutory rights of each patient.

UH respects the patient’s rights to participate in decisions about his/her care, treatment and services, and to give or withhold informed consent. The patient or designated surrogate may exercise his/her rights without fear of coercion, discrimination or retaliation. A designated surrogate or proxy decision-maker can exercise these rights on the patient’s behalf if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent, or is a minor.

Advance Care Planning

Do you or your loved ones know what types of care you would prefer or not prefer if you couldn’t speak for yourself?

Find out what you need to know about advance care planning.

Patient Rights

Each patient has the right to:

Respect and Dignity

  1. Thoughtful and respectful care*. This includes being free from all forms of abuse, discrimination, exploitation, neglect and harassment.
  2. Freely voice complaints without being harmed, coerced or discriminated against.
  3. Respect for your cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  4. Use and keep personal items as long as they are not unsafe to you or others.

*Care refers to care, treatment, and services.

Clear Communication

  1. Communication about your care in a way you understand.
  2. Know who is caring for you, their title and role.
  3. Be told before we give or stop care when possible.
  4. Be told about your discharge plan in a timely manner and be given, before you leave, information about follow-up care you may need.
  5. Know why you are being moved to another area inside or outside the hospital.
  6. Be told about our rules for patient care and responsibilities.
  7. Be told about hospital charges for your care and your payment options.
  8. Have a family member or person of your choice and/or your doctor notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.

Access to Care

  1. Access care no matter your race, language, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin, culture, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, education, veteran status or ability.
  2. Help with physical disabilities and limitations. This includes help with communication if you have problems with vision, speech, hearing, memory or thinking.
  3. Have your pain assessed and treated in a safe and proper way.
  4. Access help for domestic violence concerns.
  5. Request guardianship, patient advocate and child/adult protective services.


  1. Access or request a change to your healthcare record.
  2. Know who we share your healthcare record with.
  3. Be told about your rights and care in a language you know. We can provide foreign language services at no cost to you.
  4. Be told, in a way you can understand, about your health status and prognosis, the risks and benefits of treatment, and the results of your care, including results we did not expect.
  5. Know if we have business relationship(s) with others involved in your care.
  6. Receive a written copy of these Patient Rights and Responsibilities if you get care at any of our sites. These rights are posted in patient areas that can be easily accessed for review by the public. They are available in several common languages upon request to 216-286-2334.


  1. Have support persons* present while you are in the hospital for emotional support. They can be involved as much as you want. Sometimes there are exceptions to help make sure you and/or others are kept safe.
  2. Receive support for your spiritual or pastoral care needs.

*A support person is a spouse, family member, same-sex partner, friend or other person who supports you during your stay. With your OK, they may manage visitation on your behalf. You can choose anyone you want to be your support person(s). There is no limit based on race, color, national origin, culture, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.


  1. Personal privacy.
  2. Expect that all communications and records about your care are kept confidential by the hospital, except when sharing is allowed by you or the law.


  1. Receive care in a safe setting.
  2. Not be restrained unless it is medically necessary for your safety and/or the safety of others.

Make your own choices

  1. Make informed decisions about your care and treatment. If you can’t do so, you may choose to have someone else do it for you.
  2. Be involved in your care planning.
  3. Refuse care and get information about problems that may happen if you refuse care.
  4. Give your written OK before any non-emergency procedure that needs your informed consent.
  5. Refuse visitors.
  6. Choose a company or organization to provide care you may need after a hospital visit.
  7. Make or change advance directives and get care from hospital staff who honor your choices.
  8. Choose to not take part in any research project; saying no will not affect your access to our services.
  9. Give your OK for recordings, photos, films or other images we may use inside or outside of the hospital other than those used for identification, quality improvement, security, or treatment.
  10. Ask for and receive a quick review and resolution of complaints. If you do not agree with how your complaint is resolved, you can:
    File a complaint with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at Livanta LLC BFCC-QIO 10820 Guilford Road, Suite 202, Annapolis Junction, MD 888-524-9900, Ohio Department of Health (Attn: Provider and Consumer Services Unit, 246 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215; 1-800-342-0553), or if the facility is Joint Commission accredited, at www.jointcommission.org, using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website, by fax to 630-792-5636 or by mail to The Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OPQS), The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181.

You can always ask your nurse or social worker for help with:

  1. Making or changing Advance Directives
  2. Contacting our Ethics Committee
  3. Contacting UH police or security
  4. Contacting a chaplain

What am I responsible for?

Dignity and Respect

  1. Treating hospital staff with dignity, courtesy and respect no matter their race, religion, language, sex, ethnicity, national origin, culture, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, job, veteran status or ability.
  2. Maintaining civil language and conduct with all hospital staff.
  3. Showing respect for patients, visitors, hospital property and the property of others.
  4. Following all hospital rules and policies.

Being Involved in Your Care

  1. Giving us the most correct and complete information about your health.
  2. Asking us questions when you do not understand something.
  3. Following your care plan. You are responsible for the results if you refuse treatment or do not follow your care plan.
  4. Giving us all needed information for insurance claims.
  5. Paying bills for care that is not covered by your insurance plan.
  6. Telling us if you have pain and how well it is helped by treatment.
  7. Telling us if you have concerns about your health or changes in the way you feel.
  8. Keeping your personal items secure or at home.
  9. Keeping appointments, being on time and letting us know if you can’t make it.
  10. Giving us a current copy of your Advance Directives, if you have them.

We value the diversity of every patient and staff member. Therefore, we cannot accommodate requests to change hospital staff based on race, religion, language, sex, ethnicity, national origin, culture, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, job, veteran status or ability.