Patient Rights & Responsibilities


Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient, you have many rights and responsibilities. If you have any questions about these rights and responsibilities, please call Patient Experience at 614-293-8609.

If you are unable to ask about your rights, your guardian or other legally responsible person may do so on your behalf.


As a patient, you have the right to:

Receive medical care. You have the right to receive medical care no matter what your race, sex, beliefs, country of birth, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability or source of payment.

Be treated with dignity and respect. You have the right to be free of any abuse, neglect, shame, and/or feeling like you are being taken advantage by those providing care to you.

Have your values and beliefs respected. Please let us know if you have cultural or religious practices that need to be part of your care. You have the right to get help for special needs. This could include special meals because of religious or cultural practices.

Have accessibility services. This may include reasonable access to an interpreter to communicate with your healthcare team in the language you prefer, have reasonable access to translated materials, large print, TTY phones, amplifier and other devices that can aide in improving communication.

Use clothing and other personal items. You may bring in your own clothing and other personal items as long as they are safe and not offensive to others. You will have use of a telephone and may receive mail. Phone contact, mail and visitors may be limited at times because of your medical condition. If you have any questions, please talk to a member of your health care team.

Have visitors of your choice. You can ask staff to help limit your visitors to certain people or times. Hospital policy says visitors may be limited if required for your health or safety, or the safety of other patients or staff. Please ask for a copy of the policy if you want to more information.

Receive age-appropriate care and education. Children who are patients have the right to care and education that meets their age and developmental needs.

Expect personal privacy. You can expect privacy in care discussions, exams and treatments.

Keep your medical records private. You have the right to have your medical records and plans for your care kept private. Your medical record will not be given to anyone without your consent, except when required by law or by your insurance plan.

Keep your identity private. You can expect that any images or recordings with information that could identify you will be kept private.

Know who is caring for you. You have the right to know who is caring for you and what their position is at the hospital. Ask members of your health care team to tell you their name, and what care they will give to you. All hospital staff should be wearing ID badges.

Receive clear communication. You have the right to receive information about your care given to you in a way that you can understand. If you are not sure what you have been told or have been given in writing, ask a member of your health care team to go over the information again with you. We need your approval to share any information about your health, your care or your treatment with family and friends.

A safe and clean environment. You have the right to a safe, clean and secure environment while you are in the hospital.

Report concerns regarding care and safety. You have the right to report concerns or complaints about your care and safety and receive help to resolve your concerns.

Request hospital policies. You have the right to know the rules and policies of the hospital that involve your care during your hospital stay. These include the policies for visitors, safety and no tobacco use.

Participate in decisions about your care. You have the right to make decisions about your care, treatment and services, including refusing treatment.

Give or refuse consent for treatment. You have the right to know the risks, benefits and other options for treatment before you give consent for treatment, except in an emergency situation.

Have your pain evaluated and managed. Your healthcare team will ask you about your pain and will help you with pain management.

Get a second opinion. If you are not sure about your care or treatment plan, you may ask for a second opinion from another doctor.

Complete advance directives. You have the right to complete advance directives that can include a living will, do not resuscitate (DNR) order and durable power of attorney for health care. The durable power of attorney for health care allows you to identify another person to make decisions about your care if you are not able to for any reason. You can ask for help to complete an advance directive.

Receive written discharge instructions. You have the right to receive written discharge instructions from your doctor about your follow-up care before leaving the hospital.

Request a meeting with the Hospital Ethics Committee. You or your family can ask for this help to discuss issues about your care.

See your medical record. Your doctor can review your record with you in the hospital. To get your records after you leave the hospital, you need to call the office of Medical Information Management. You can also ask for changes or corrections to your record based on laws and rules.

Receive information about the cost for your treatment and payment options. If you have questions about your hospital bill, please ask to talk to a financial assistance counselor.

Choose whether or not you want to be part of clinical trials. Research to improve health is part of the mission of Ohio State’s Medical Center and the cancer program. We may use patient information in research, but we will not identify patients unless we have their permission.

Receive information about transfers. You have the right to receive information about a transfer to another doctor, unit or facility before it happens.

Special Situations

If you are a patient in for rehabilitation in Dodd Hall and you are no longer able to progress toward your goals, the doctor and the rehab team will talk with you about a different treatment plan in another setting for you.

Psychiatric and correctional facility patient rights are specific to your situation and those rights will be available to you.

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As a patient, you are expected to:

Give full information about your health and any changes in your condition to the members of your health care team.

Ask questions when you do not understand your treatment or what you need to do for your care.

Tell your nurse before you leave your room or the floor.

Be considerate of the rights and property of other patients and hospital staff.

Follow the rules of OSU Medical Center. For example:

No smoking or use of tobacco products is allowed inside or outside the hospital buildings by patients, visitors or staff.

No recording or taking pictures of care being provided to you or other patients. Visitors must also follow this policy.

Follow the treatment plan. Talk with your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have regarding your care so adjustments can be made. If you choose not to follow your doctor’s instructions, you will be responsible for the outcome.

Pay your medical bills in a timely manner. If you have questions or concerns, you may talk with a financial assistance counselor.

Complaints or Concerns

We would like to help you get any complaint or concern resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. First, share this with your nurse, social worker, doctor, or unit manager. If you are not able to solve your concerns this way or if you would like some help, you may call Patient Experience at 614-293-8609. A representative will talk with you about your concerns or complaints. They will also serve as an advocate to help with communication between you and the people involved. Although most concerns can be resolved through this process, if you feel you need more help, you may contact:

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH)................800-342-0553
TDD: 614-752-6490

The Joint Commission.................................................800-994-6610

U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Office for Civil Rights......................................312-886-2359
(Region V-Ohio)..........................................................TDD: 800-537-7697

Ohio Department of Mental Health................................614-466-2596
TDD: 614-752-9696

Ohio Legal Rights Service............................................614-466-7264
TDD: 614-728-2553

KePRO Inc. (Medicare patients with
concerns regarding discharge)..................................... 216-447-9604

The Facility Complaint Hotline..................................... 800-669-3534

Updated 12/02/2011

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Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney and DNR Order

What are my rights regarding medical treatment decisions?
You have the right to make your own medical treatment decisions. If you do not want certain treatments, you have the right to tell your doctor that you do not want them. Most patients can express their wishes to their doctor, but some patients due to their medical condition cannot.  However, you have the right to make your wishes known before such a situation occurs. By having an Advance Directive, you can make your wishes known. In the state of Ohio, there are two kinds of Advance Directives:

  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Living Will

The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you name someone to make decisions for you if you don't have the capacity to make your own healthcare decisions. A Living Will allows you to list the care you want at the end of your life. You can print the forms for Advance Directive in the state of Ohio below.

If you need assistance in completing the forms or if you have particular questions about Advance Directives, please feel free to call any of the hospital departments listed below to talk to someone who may be able to help you.

Social Services     614-293-8427

You may choose to have one or both types of Advance Directives. These forms can help your doctor and your family to know your wishes. Be sure to talk with them about your care. Once the forms are signed and notarized, be sure to give a copy to your doctor and family members and keep extra copies at home in case you need to go to the hospital.

If you disagree with your medical treatment, you (or a family member) should speak with your doctor or nurse. Disagreements can usually be resolved with good communication. If you still have concerns, you (or a family member) may call the hospital Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee has members from different professions who can give advice in difficult situations. To contact the Ethics Committee, please call OSU Medical Center's Department of Chaplaincy at 614-293-8791 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. To contact the On-Call Chaplain during any other time, please call the operator at 614-293-8000.

What if I'm too sick to decide or unable to communicate my wishes?
Under Ohio law, there are three different forms outlined below (Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will and Do Not Resuscitate Order that you can use to make your wishes known.

Who can fill out these forms?
Anyone at least 18 years old who can make his or her own decisions can fill out these forms.

Do I need a lawyer?
No, you don't need a lawyer to fill them out. You may choose to discuss these matters with an attorney, but there is no requirement to do so.

Does my healthcare provider have to follow my instructions?
Yes, if your directions comply with state law. However, Ohio law includes a conscience clause in case your healthcare provider is unable to follow your directions because he/she is in conflict with the caregiver's conscience. In this case, you can be transferred to another healthcare provider who will comply with your wishes.

If I have Durable Power of Attorney, do I need a Living Will too?
Many people will want to have both documents because they can address different aspects of your medical care. A Living Will gives your instructions directly to your doctors and a Durable Power of Attorney appoints another person you have chosen to make health care treatment decisions for you.

Living Will
The purpose of the Living Will is to document your wish that life-sustaining treatment, including artificially or technologically supplied nutrition and hydration, be withheld or withdrawn if you are unable to make informed medical decisions and are in terminal condition or in a permanently unconscious state.  A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care must honor a Living Will declaration.

Do Not Resuscitate Order
State regulations offer a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Comfort Care and Comfort Care Arrest Protocol as developed by the Ohio Department of Health. A DNR Order is a directive issued by a physician that identifies a person and specifies that CPR should not be administered to the person so identified. CPR means cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but it does not include clearing a person's airway for a purpose other than as a component of CPR.

State of Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney Form
Ohio Living Will Form


Special Needs

The James is committed to providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services if you have limited English proficiency and/or have hearing and visual impairments.  We want to ensure optimal communication between you and our staff to facilitate care.  These services will be provided at no cost to you.

  • Interpreters are available if you have limited English proficiency. Please let your caregiver know verbally, in writing or by pointing to our "I speak posters" to help identify your language.
  • For TTY and/or other auxiliary aids at The James call Customer Service at 614-293-8944 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, or after hours call the hospital operator at 614-293-8000 and ask for the hospital administrative manager on duty.
  • Service Animals: In the best interest of our patients, service animals are not permitted in the intensive care unit. Individuals with service animals who wish to visit these areas should call Security at 614-293-8500 to make arrangements for the care of the animal.

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The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 300 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: