Patient Rights and Responsibilities

You have an important role as a member of your healthcare team. As a member of your healthcare team, you have rights and responsibilities.

Download Patient Rights and Responsibilities (pdf)


Your Rights as a Patient

Professional Care:

  • You have the right to care that is considerate and respectful.
  • You have the right to care that is impartial regardless of gender, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age.
  • You have the right to access National Jewish Health rules that affect you and your treatment.

Participate in Care Decisions:

  • You have the right to participate in decisions about your care. Your family may also participate in care decisions, when appropriate and authorized by you.
  • You have the right to receive information that is accurate and easy to understand. This includes information about your diagnosis, the care that is suggested, the risks involved in the treatment or procedure, outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes), and the cost of care. With this information you can make informed decisions about your care.
  • You have a right to give your informed consent before any procedure is performed. If you speak another language, have a physical or mental disability, or just do not understand something, support will be provided so you can make informed healthcare decisions.


  • You have the right to refuse treatment at any time, to the extent permitted by law. Should you refuse care, your healthcare team will inform you of the possible medical consequences of your decision.
  • You have the right to refuse participation in a research study without compromising your access to other healthcare services.
  • You have the right to appropriate assessment and treatment of pain.
  • You have the right to prepare an advance directive. You can appoint another person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf to the extent permitted by law. National Jewish Health personnel will comply with the directives. You may revoke or revise your advance directive at any time.
  • You have the right to receive treatment, care and services within the National Jewish Health mission, capabilities and in compliance with related laws and regulations.

Confidentiality of Care:

  • You have the right to privacy.
  • You have the right to expect that your medical records will be kept confidential. Access to information about you will be limited to those involved in your care. Your medical records will be released only in cases of medical emergencies or in response to court-ordered subpoenas. You may provide written consent for release to persons or organizations.

Access to Medical Records:

  • You have the right to access your medical record, except when restricted by law.
  • You have the right to have any information in the record explained to you.


  • You have the right to know the names and roles of people directly involved in your care. People will wear official nametags or be introduced to you.
  • You have to right to know of any business relations National Jewish Health has that may influence your care.

Continuity of Care:

  • You have the right to continuity of care. National Jewish Health will help with this. This includes help locating services or facilities when medically indicated. Your doctor may suggest that you receive care at another facility. If so, your doctor will advise you of the reasons for the transfer, the risks involved, and possible options.
  • You have the right to help in obtaining a second opinion from another doctor at your request and expense.

Patient Billing:

  • You have the right to have your bill explained to you. This will be provided upon request, regardless of the source of payment. You may ask about financial aid to assist you in the payment of your bills. You can expect help from National Jewish Health staff in securing such aid.

Other Rights:

  • You have the right to have access to visitors, telephone calls, mail, and an interpreter, if needed.
  • You have the right to be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • You have the right to access National Jewish Health Security.
  • You have the right to pastoral care and other spiritual services. You may express your spiritual beliefs and cultural practices provided that they do not harm others or interfere with your planned course of medical therapy.

Along with your rights come responsibilities.


Your Responsibilities as a Patient

Provide Accurate and Complete Information:

  • Provide complete and accurate information about your health to the best of your knowledge. Be honest and direct about aspects of your life that relate to your illness and your experience as a patient. The National Jewish Health healthcare team needs to know your opinions and concerns to provide you with the quality care.
  • Notify National Jewish Health in advance, when possible, if you need an interpreter or have other special needs.

Learn About Your Diagnosis, Testing, and Treatment Plan:

  • Ask questions if you do not understand. You may want to write down your questions before the visit to help you remember.
  • Participate in individual and group patient education sessions. Read the information your healthcare team gives you. This will help you become familiar with your treatment plan.
  • Learn about the medicines you are taking and learn about the equipment you will be using.
  • Communicate with your healthcare team.
  • Report any changes in your health to your doctor or nurse.
  • Follow the treatment plan and be responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment.
  • Be considerate of other patients and National Jewish Health personnel.
  • Keep appointments, and notify National Jewish Health if you are unable to do so.

Follow the Rules and Regulations Affecting Patient Care:

  • Avoid using perfumes or other strong-smelling personal products, such as colognes, lotions, etc. National Jewish requests the same thing of family members and visitors. Strong odors may cause some patients to have trouble breathing.
  • National Jewish Health is a nonsmoking facility. Patients and their visitors are required to refrain from smoking while at National Jewish Health facilities.
  • Be respectful of the property of other persons and the property of National Jewish Health.
  • Do not bring weapons of any kind onto National Jewish Health property.
  • Meet your financial responsibilities as outlined in the Payment Agreement signed during the admissions process.
  • Meet with the Patient Financial Services staff before your appointment if you think you need financial assistance in paying your bill.

If You Have Concerns About Ethical Issues Related to Your Treatment

  • You have a right to voice your concerns. You may contact the National Jewish Ethics Committee by calling the Patient Representative. You can also dial "0" for the operator or ask any member of the healthcare team.


If You Have a Complaint

  • You have the right to file a complaint. To do this you may call the Patient Representative at 303-398-1076. The Patient Representative will look into the complaint and work to resolve the issue.
  • You may request that the complaint be elevated to a "grievance" status if you are not satisfied with the Patient Representative process. Your complaint will be forwarded to the Executive Vice-President of Clinical Affairs for further review.
  • You may contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment if you feel you cannot resolve the issue through National Jewish Health. The address is 4300 Cherry Creek Circle Drive South, Denver, Colorado, 80222. The telephone number is 303-692 2800.
  • You may also contact National Jewish Health's hospital accrediting organization, The Joint Commission, if you are concerned about your care and safety that National Jewish Health has not addressed. Contact may be made by calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing [email protected].

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