Patient Rights & Responsibilities
The staff and doctors at Indiana University Health respect the dignity and rights of each individual. We take our responsibility to give you the best medical care seriously. Patient Rights and Responsibilities Guides are available from any Information Desk.
Your Rights as a Patient
It has always been the mission of IU Health to foster human dignity and preserve the rights of each patient. You have the right to appropriate and compassionate care at all times. IU Health does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, culture, language, color, national origin, sex, age, age in admission, treatment, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, source of payment, or publication in its programs, services, and activities, or in employment. For further information about this policy, contact Tim O'Connell at 317.688.2000.
Information About Your Medical Condition and Health Care
- You have the right to receive information about your condition, treatment, procedures and recovery. It should be in words you can understand. If your doctor doesn’t tell you because it is not medically advised, he must write the reason in your medical record.
- You have the right to choose a person to be your health care representative. This person can make health care decisions for you.
- You or your representative have the right to be involved in your care.
Controlling pain is part of medical treatment. When you are in pain, you have the right to:
- Have your pain and medicine history taken
- Have your questions about pain answered
- Make a plan with your caregivers to deal with your pain
- Know what medicine or treatment will be given
- Know the risks, benefits and side effects of treatment
- Know what other pain treatments may be available
- Be believed when you say you have pain
- Have your pain assessed at regular times on an individual basis
- Have your pain assessed using a pain scale
- Ask for changes in treatment if pain persists
- Receive pain medicine on a timely basis
- Seek a second opinion or ask for a pain care specialist
- If you choose, you may include your family in making decisions
Refusal of Treatment
- You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. You have the right to know the medical consequences that could result from refusing treatment. If you refuse care or treatment, you are responsible for the results of your decision.
- If the hospital or its staff decides that your refusal of treatment prevents you from receiving appropriate care according to ethical and professional standards, the relationship with you may be terminated with reasonable notice.
Refusal to Take Part in Research or Experimental Procedures
You will be told about experimental procedures that are being considered as part of your care. You have the right to refuse to take part in any research or experimental projects. You have the right to stop participating in these projects even if you already agreed to participate.
Freedom from Restraints
You may not be restrained unless a doctor has given written permission for this action or it is deemed necessary in an emergency to protect you from hurting yourself or others.
Viewing Your Medical Records
- Generally, you have the right to read your medical record while you are a patient in the hospital if a doctor or designated health care professional is present.
- After you leave the hospital, you have the right to obtain copies of your medical record unless your doctor does not think it is medically advised for you. There is a fee charged for this service. Call the Health Information Management Department at 317.962.8911 to obtain your medical record information.
Confidentiality of Records
- Communication and records about your medical care will be confidential.
- You have the right to decide, in writing, who may receive copies of your medical record except as required by law.
- You are entitled to privacy in treatment and in caring for your personal needs. This includes the right to be interviewed and examined in areas that allow a reasonable amount of privacy.
- You have the right to talk privately with anyone you wish (subject to hospital visiting regulations) unless your doctor does not think it is medically advised. This reason will be written in your medical record.
- You have the right to refuse to see visitors.
Continuity of Care
- You will be instructed how to continue your health care after you leave the hospital.
- If you need to be transferred to another health care facility, you will be told why it is needed. You will receive assistance in making arrangements for the move.
Information About Your Hospital Bill
- You have the right to receive an explanation of your hospital bill except where not allowed by law.
- Whenever possible, you will be told when you are no longer eligible for insurance.
- You may ask the hospital staff to provide information about financial help for your hospital bill.
You have the right to take part in religious and/or social activities while in the hospital, unless your doctor thinks these activities are not medically advised.
Policy Statement Regarding the Federal Patient Self-Determination Act
The policy of Indiana University Health and its medical staff is to respect the wishes of patients about their medical care. In compliance with the Patient Self-Determination Act, IU Hospital recognizes the right of adult patients to provide written instructions about what medical treatment they want to receive if they become unable to make such decisions. This policy is consistent with the values of IU Health, which upholds individual choice. In keeping with this policy, hospital staff will ask all adult patients when they are admitted if they have any form of written instructions. Documents provided will be made a part of the patient's medical record. Patients wanting information will receive material about their choices under Indiana law. Medical care will be given to patients whether or not they have any written instructions consistent with their wishes.