How to Assert Your Rights in a Hospital!

New York's Patient Bill of Rights is contained in the Public Health Law section 2803(1)(g), and 10 N.Y.C.R.R. sections 405.7, 405.7(a)(1). and 405.7(c). Every hospital in New York is required to give a written copy of the Patients' Bill of Rights to each patient at or prior to the time of the admission to the hospital. Unfortunately, this is almost never done.

New York's Patient Bill of Rights states that: "As a patient in a hospital in New York State, you have the right, consistent with law, to", among other things:

                                          Be informed of the name and position of the doctor
                                          who will be in charge of your care in the hospital. (#5
                                          of the Patient's Bill of Rights)

                                          Know the names, positions, and functions of any
                                          hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their
                                          treatment, examination, or observation. (#6 of the
                                          Patients' Bill of Rights)

                                          Participate in all decisions about your treatment and 
                                          discharge from the hospital. The hospital must 
                                          provide you with a written discharge plan and written
                                          description of how you can appeal your discharge.
                                          (#14 of the Patients' Bill of Rights)

                                          Review your medical record without charge. Obtain
                                          a copy of your medical record for which the hospital 
                                          can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied
                                          a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
                                          (#15 of the Patients' Bill of Rights)

                                          Complain without fear of reprisals about the care 
                                          and services you are receiving and to have the
                                          hospital respond to you and if you request it, a
                                          written response. If you are not satisfied with the
                                          hospital's response, you can complain to the New 
                                          York State Health Department. The hospital must
                                          provide you with the State Hospital Department
                                          telephone number. (# 17 of the Patients' Bill of

You have the right to know about your medical condition. You must talk to your doctor about your health care questions.

You have the right to be fully informed about decisions affecting your care. SPEAK UP, PLEASE.

You have the right to designate a representative to act on your behalf.

You have the right to receive all of the hospital care you need for the treatment of your illness or injury.