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UK HealthCare Policies

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

You have the right to:

  • Receive care, no matter what your age, race, ethnicity, culture, color, national origin, language, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, appearance, socioeconomic status, physical or mental disability, religion, or diagnosis. 
  • You have the right to designate a support person of your choosing. This support person may be, but is not limited to a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), a family member, or a friend.  
  • Know what's medically wrong and how we can help you get better. We'll also tell you the things you'll need to know when you get home so that you can stay well.
  • Know the names of your doctors and nurses.
  • Feel safe here and ask questions if you have concerns. 
  • Say "no" to anything we suggest.
  • Not be involved with research unless you want to be involved. 
  • Receive help with pain.
  • Have your religious beliefs respected.
  • Have your regular doctor or a family member notified that you're 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 list of disclosures to your records.
  • Have your questions about any costs or bills answered at any time.
  • Complain about anything without worry. If you don't want to talk to your doctor or nurse, please contact the patient representative at 859-257-2178.
  • If you have conflicts about care, you may ask your nurse or the patient representative how to contact the Ethics Committee by calling Hospital Administration at 859-257-9474 to help resolve those conflicts. If you still have a complaint, you may contact the Kentucky Office of Inspector General at 800-372-2973.
  • Patients in the Kentucky Clinic who have conflict may go to the Information Desk on the first or third floors and ask KY Clinic Administration to be notified at 859-257-6780.
  • You may also contact the Joint Commission an Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations at 800-994-6610 or email to:

As a patient of UK HealthCare, you have a responsibility to:

  • Tell us everything we need to know about your condition and history. 
  • Do what your doctor recommends or tell your doctor why you don't 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 active and 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 or advance directives. Tell your nurse if you want to make a living will or advance directives. Contact the Department of Patient & Family Services for more information at 859-323-5501.    
  • 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

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

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

  • 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.