Clinical Care and Treatment

Resident Rights

You have the right to:

  • adequate and appropriate medical care, including nursing, rehabilitation therapies, social work, dental and other professional services for which you have been assessed to show need;
  • be fully informed by a doctor in a language or a form that you can understand (using an interpreter when necessary) of your total health status, including but not limited to your medical condition including diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan;
  • ask questions about your medical condition and have the questions answered;
  • refuse to participate in experimental research;
  • a second opinion if you disagree with the diagnosis or treatment being provided; you or your designated representative may call in a consultant (you may have to pay for this visit);
  • appoint someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend, to be your health care agent to decide about treatment if you lose the ability to decide for yourself;
  • provide advance directives, such as a living will or other verbal or written instructions, about important health care decisions, like the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment;
  • have a surrogate make health care decisions on your behalf should you lose decision-making capacity and have not appointed a health care agent by filling out a health care proxy;
  • refuse medication and treatment and discharge yourself from the facility should you so choose, after being fully informed and understanding the probable consequences of such actions;
  • choose a personal attending doctor from among those who agree to abide by all applicable federal and state regulations and who are permitted to practice in the facility;
  • be fully informed in advance about care and treatment and of any changes in that care or treatment that may affect your well-being;
  • participate in planning your care and treatment or changes in your care and treatment;
  • self-administer drugs only if the facility's interdisciplinary medical team has determined that this practice is safe.

Nursing Home Responsibility

The nursing home must:

  • use chemical and physical restraints only if necessary for medical reasons and ordered by your doctor and, except in an emergency situation, obtain your consent or the consent of your designated representative who has legal authority to give such consent;
  • inform you of the name, office address, telephone number and specialty of the doctor responsible for your personal care;
  • inform you prior to admission that your doctor or dentist must be affiliated with the facility in order to practice there;
  • promptly respond to requests by your personal attending doctors or dentists to be approved to attend to you;
  • inform you (except in a medical emergency) immediately and consult your physician and designated representative or an interested family member when there is:
    1. an accident involving you that results in injury;
    2. a significant improvement in your physical, mental or psychosocial status, in accordance with generally accepted standards of care and services;
    3. a need to alter treatment significantly;
    4. a decision to transfer or discharge you from the facility;
  • discharge you from the facility, should you so choose, after fully informing you of the probable consequences of such action;
  • provide you with information, a Health Care Proxy form and assistance to decide about advance directives and designation of a health care agent;
  • provide you with all information you may need to give informed consent for a "Do Not Resuscitate" order and comply with the New York State provisions regarding orders not to resuscitate;
  • provide you with CPR if you wish;
  • comply with the Family Health Care Decisions Act and allow surrogate decision-making on behalf of a resident who lacks decision-making capacity and does not have a health care agent under a health care proxy. A surrogate is a spouse (if not legally separated from the resident) or domestic partner; adult child; parent; adult sibling; or close friend.
  • furnish to you, upon your request, a copy of the New York State Department of Health brochure entitled "Deciding About Health Care: A Guide for Patients and Families."