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UK HealthCare Policies

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

You have the right to:

  • Receive care no matter what your age, race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, creed, physical or mental disability, veteran status, uniformed service, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, appearance, socio-economic status, religion or diagnosis consistent with the services that UK HealthCare provides.
  • Know what is medically wrong and how we can help you get better. We will also tell you the things you will need to know when you get home so that you can stay well.
  • Know the names of your doctors and nurses.
  • Receive care in a safe environment free from all forms of abuse neglect or harassment.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion in any form that is not medically necessary.
  • Say "no" to anything we suggest.
  • Not be involved with research unless you want to be involved.
  • Receive treatment for pain.
  • Have your religious beliefs respected.
  • Have your regular doctor or a family member notified that you are in the hospital.
  • Have your choices about end-of-life decisions respected.
  • Be treated politely and with consideration.
  • Have your privacy respected.
  • Know about any rules that might affect you or your family.
  • Receive a copy of your medical records; request amendment to your records and request a list of disclosures of your record.
  • Have your questions about any costs or bills answered at any time.
  • You can complain about anything without worry. If you don't want to talk to your doctor or nurse, please contact the Office of Patient Experience at 859-257-2178. If you have conflicts about your care, you may ask your nurse or any other hospital staff member to contact the Ethics Consultation Service on your behalf through UKMDs or call Hospital Administration at 859-323-5000 to help resolve those conflicts. If you still have a complaint, you may contact the Kentucky Office of Inspector General at 1-800-372-2973. You may also contact The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610; or email to: complaint@joint; or mail to:

       Office of Quality Monitoring
       The Joint Commission
       One Renaissance Boulevard
       Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

To help us help you, please...

  • Tell us everything we need to know about your condition and history.
  • Do what your doctor recommends or tell your doctor why you do not want to follow the recommendations.
  • Be considerate of the people with whom you come in contact.
  • Take part in making your hospital stay safe; be an involved part of your health care team.
  • Provide your health insurance information or ask us about other options available to assist you with your payments.
  • Let us know if you have legal papers about end-of-life decisions, such as a living will, health care surrogate declaration or other advance directives. Tell your nurse if you want to make an advance directive, or contact Patient & Family Services for more information at 859-323-5501

    (A PDF version of Patient Rights & Responsibilities with a consent form.)

    (A Spanish PDF version of Patient Rights & Responsibilities with a consent form.)


    • About Advance Directives

      Advance directives are documents that state your choices about medical treatment. They will also allow you to name someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Kentucky law recognizes three types of advance directives: a living will; a designation of health care surrogate; and advance directive for Mental Health treatment.

      A living will is a document that tells your doctor or other health care providers whether or not you want treatments or procedures which will prolong your life if you are in a terminal condition or are in a permanently unconscious state. Procedures which can prolong your life may include mechanical respirators to help you breathe, kidney dialysis to clean your body of wastes, or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to restore your heartbeat, artificial nutrition and hydration. It may also include your wishes regarding organ donation.

      A health care surrogate designation lets you name a specific person to make your medical decisions when you are unable to do so. This person acts in your best interest to authorize treatment, refuse treatment or withdraw treatment when you are temporarily or permanently unable to decide for yourself.

      You do not have to have an advance directive. If you choose to write an advance directive giving your instructions, you should first talk with your family and those close to you who are concerned about your care and your feelings.

      It is easier to discuss possible situations and your wishes at a time when you are healthy. You can always change or cancel an advance directive later if you desire.

      More facts about advance directives:

      • Anyone 18 or older can make an advance directive. 
      • If you change your mind, you can destroy the document, or revoke it either verbally or in writing 
      • You don't need a lawyer to write an advance directive. 
      • We do not automatically honor advance directives in outpatient areas as we don't know of your wishes or your visit may be for unrelated care. If you want us to honor an advance directive in an outpatient area, please speak to a nurse or your doctor. 
      • While you are a patient at a University of Kentucky Hospital, if you would like more information on advance directives, you may contact Patient & Family Services in Room H149 or call 859-323-5501
    • What everyone needs to know about AIDS

      Kentucky law requires that we inform you about AIDS.

      HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus,” which is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system.  HIV makes it harder for people with it to recover from other infections and illnesses.  AIDS stands for “acquired immune deficiency syndrome,” which is the health effects that happen if HIV is not treated. With treatment, a person living with HIV can be healthy and live nearly as long as a person who does not have HIV. Treatment for HIV also greatly lowers the chance that someone with HIV will pass it to others.

      HIV is not spread through activities such as hugging or shaking hands or sharing a drinking glass. HIV is only spread through blood, sexual fluids or breast milk.

      This usually happens by:

      • Having sex without condoms
      • Sharing needles

      A mother living with HIV can pass HIV to her baby, but this is now very uncommon in the US as long as the mother knows that she has HIV and is being treated. It is also very rare that HIV is passed by blood transfusions or transplanted organs, because all donated blood and organs are now tested for HIV.

      HIV is mostly spread by people who do not know they have HIV. This is why it is so important to get tested for HIV at least once in your lifetime, and at least every 6 months if you are having sex without condoms or sharing needles.