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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Explore the privileges and duties you have as a patient at UNM Health System.

Your Rights

You have the right to:

Download a Copy

Download a printable copy of the patient rights and responsibilities for the HSC Privacy Office (they are also available in Spanish and Vietnamese.

  • Be treated with dignity and respect of your individuality in a safe environment, free of threat and harm and with privacy in treatment.
  • Have your pain assessed and treated.
  • Be free from restraints unless they are necessary to keep you safe and when less restrictive interventions have not worked.
  • Have your medical record and health information kept private except when used for treatment, billing, or hospital business, or when required by law.

Language, Culture, Religion, Gender, Disability & Race

You have the right to:

  • Receive the healthcare you need regardless of your race, creed, age, color, beliefs, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, marital status, or source of payment.
  • Have qualified interpreter services available if you do not understand or speak English.
  • Request assistance if you are vision and/or hearing impaired.
  • Express your religious and cultural beliefs as long as the exercise of these beliefs does not harm others or interfere with the medical treatment or the rights of others.

Medical Information

You have the right to:

Download a Copy

Learn how to advocate for yourself and your care. Download The Joint Commission’s Speak UpTM guide in

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]
  • Have a family member, representative, or physician notified when you are admitted to the hospital.
  • Know the members of your health care team.
  • Get information you can understand about what is thought to be wrong with you, and the risks, benefits, prognosis and choices of treatment.
  • Get a second opinion.
  • Get information about follow-up care when you are discharged.
  • Look at your medical record and get copies.
  • Get information about being transferred to another doctor at another hospital including the reason for transfer and care offered at the receiving hospital or doctor.
  • Get an explanation of your bill and the services provided to you.
  • Receive a copy of this Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

Decisions About Your Care

Download a Copy

Download the Optional Advance Healthcare Directive in

or the Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment [PDF]

You have the right to:

  • Decide who may visit you in the hospital according to hospital policy.
  • Participate with the treatment team in making decisions about your care and treatment.
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law.
  • Decide who can make decisions about your care and treatment if you aren’t able to communicate your wishes.
  • Sign an advance directive so your providers know what care you want if you should be near death and unable to communicate your wishes.
  • Choose whether or not to participate in a research project or experimental treatment.

Concerns, Complaints & Questions

You have the right to:

  • Speak to a member of the Ethics Committee when there are ethical issues about your care.
  • File a dispute or grievance for any issues like care or access that you haven’t been able to resolve with your doctor or nurse. You can file a grievance [PDF] by calling:
    • The UNM Hospitals patient assistance coordinator at 505-272-2121. 
    • The UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center patient case manager at 505-994-7421.
    • The New Mexico Department of Health at 1-800-752-8649 or by mail at New Mexico Department of Health, Division of Health Improvement, Incident Management, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502-6110.
    • The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610.

Your Responsibilities

Just as you have certain rights, you also have the responsibility to:

  • Sign a consent for treatment, except in emergencies.
  • Treat other patients, hospital staff and the property of others with respect.
  • Give correct and complete information to your treatment team.
  • Ask questions or request more information when you do not understand information or instructions.
  • Follow your treatment plan, or tell your health care team member why you cannot follow it.
  • Tell your doctor about any changes in your health.
  • Cancel appointments you cannot keep.
  • Follow hospital rules and regulations.
  • Meet your financial obligations.
Give your opinions and concerns in a helpful way to the right people, including your doctor, your nurse, the patient assistance coordinator or case manager.

Schedule an appointment: (505) 272-4866

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