|As a patient in a New Jersey hospital, you have the right to:
- Receive an understandable
explanation from your physician of
your complete medical condition
including recommended treatment,
expected results, risks and reasonable
alternatives. If your physician
believes that some of this information
would be detrimental to your health
or beyond your ability to understand,
the explanation must be given to your
next of kin or guardian.
- Give informed written consent prior
to the start of specified, nonemergency
medical procedures or
treatments only after your physician
has explained—in terms you can
understand—specific details about
the recommended procedure or
treatment, the risks, time to recover
and reasonable medical alternatives.
- Be informed of the hospital’s written
policies and procedures regarding
life-saving methods and the use or
withdrawal of life-support.
- Refuse medication and treatment to
the extent permitted by law and to be
informed of the medical
consequences of refusal.
- Be included in experimental research
only when you have given informed
consent to participate.
- Choose your own private
professional nurse and to contract
directly for this care during
hospitalization. You can request from
the hospital a list of local non-profit
professional nurses association
registries that refer nurses.
- Receive appropriate assessment and
treatment for pain.
- Be transferred to another facility only
if the current hospital is unable to
provide the level of appropriate
medical care or if the transfer is
requested by you or your next of kin
- Receive from a physician in advance an
explanation of the reasons for transfer
including alternatives, verification of
acceptance from the receiving facility,
and assurance that the move will not
worsen your medical condition.
Communication and Information
- Be treated with courtesy, consideration
and respect for your dignity and
- Know the names and functions of all
physicians and other health care
professionals directly caring for you.
- Expeditiously receive the services of a
translator or interpreter, if needed, to
communicate with the hospital staff.
- Be informed of the names, titles, and
duties of other health care
professionals and educational
institutions that participate in your
treatment. You have the right to
refuse to allow their participation.
- Be advised in writing of the hospital’s
rules regarding the conduct of
patients and visitors.
- Receive a summary of your rights as a
patient, including the name(s) and
phone number(s) of the hospital staff to
whom to direct questions or complaints
about possible violations of your rights.
If at least 10% of the hospital’s service
area speaks your native language, you
can receive a copy of the summary in
your native language.
- Have prompt access to your medical
records. If your physician feels that
this access is detrimental to your
health, your next of kin or guardian
has a right to see your records.
- Obtain a copy of your medical
records at a reasonable fee within
30 days after submitting a written
request to the hospital.
Cost of Hospital Care
- Receive a copy of the hospital
charges, an itemized bill, if
requested, and an explanation.
- Appeal any charges and receive an
explanation of the appeals process.
- Obtain the hospital’s help in securing
public assistance and private health
care benefits to which you may be
- Be informed about any need for
follow-up care and receive assistance
in obtaining this care required after
your discharge from the hospital.
- Receive sufficient time before
discharge to arrange for follow-up
care after hospitalization.
- Be informed by the hospital about
the discharge appeal process.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- Be provided with physical privacy
during medical treatment and
personal hygiene functions, unless
you need assistance.
- Be assured confidentiality about your
patient stay. Your medical and
financial records shall not be released to anyone outside the hospital without
your approval, unless you are
transferred to another facility that
requires the information, or release of
the information is required and
permitted by law.
- Have access to individual storage space
for your private use and to safeguard
your property if unable to assume that
Freedom from Abuse and Restraints
- Be free from physical and mental abuse.
- Be free from restraints unless authorized
by a physician for a limited period of
time to protect your safety or the safety
- Receive treatment and medical
services without discrimination based
on race, age, religion, national origin,
sex, sexual preferences, handicap,
diagnosis, ability to pay or source of
- Exercise your constitutional, civil and
Questions, Complaints and Appeals
- Ask questions or file grievances about
patient rights with a designated
hospital staff member and receive a
response within a reasonable period.
- Be provided, by the hospital, with
contact information for the New Jersey
Department of Health and Senior
Services unit that handles questions
See Filing a Complaint for details