Patient Rights and Responsibilities: City of Hope Los Angeles-Area Locations

If you are a patient or parent of a minor who is receiving treatment at City of Hope® Los Angeles-area locations, it is important to know the rights you have under federal and California state law. If, at any point in your care, you feel your rights are not being served, you may express your concerns confidentially with one of our patient advocates at 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62285.


You have the right to:

  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own doctor notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person defined in federal law. The hospital will ensure that visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences unless: 
    • No visitors are allowed.
    • The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
    • You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit. However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but must inform you that there are doctors who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain.
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, educational background, economic status or the source of payment for care.

Respect and Dignity

You have the right to:

  • Receive kind and respectful care, be made comfortable and have caregivers respect your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.

Privacy and Confidentiality

You have the right to:

  • Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.

Medical Information and Consent

You have the right to:

  • Know the name of the doctor who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other doctors and caregivers who will see you.
  • Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unexpected outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to take part in developing and implementing your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
  • Make decisions regarding medical care and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, other courses of treatment or nontreatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
  • Be advised if the hospital/personal doctor proposes a clinical study affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.

Provisions of Information

You have the right to:

  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.

Medical Treatment Decisions

You have the right to:

  • Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding your care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with your directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.

Continuity of Care

You have the right to:

  • Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments, as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
  • Be informed by the doctor, or a delegate of the doctor, of continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided this information also.

Refusal of Treatment

You have the right to:

  • Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.

Financial Information

You have the right to:

  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.

Personal Safety

You have the right to:

  • Be free from restraints and seclusion used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.

Complaints or Concerns

You have the right to:

  • Discuss your concerns about care with your physician or other caregivers.
  • File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with this hospital, you may do so by writing City of Hope Patient Advocate, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010, or calling 626-256-4673 (HOPE), extension 62285.
  • The grievance committee reviews each grievance and will provide you with a written response within 30 days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization.
  • File a complaint with the state Department of Health and Human Services regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The state Department of Health and Human Services address and phone number are: County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, 3400 Aerojet Ave., Suite 323, El Monte, CA 91731, 800-228-1019 or 626-569-3727. You may also contact The Joint Commission if you have any patient safety or quality concerns through or by calling them at 800-994-6610.

Patient Responsibilities

  • You are responsible for providing complete and correct information about your medical history and current health condition. You are responsible for reporting changes in your condition. You are also responsible for reporting any concerns that you may have about the safety of your care.
  • It is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and care team. If you cannot follow your care instructions, you should discuss it with a member of your care team.
  • You are responsible for keeping your appointments and letting your doctor know when you are not able to keep them.
  • You are responsible for financial costs relating to your care. These costs must be paid in a timely manner.
  • You are expected to follow hospital rules about care and conduct. Please respect the rights and property of hospital staff and other patients. You are also expected to follow hospital rules such as those regarding noise, smoking and visitation.
  • You or your representative should tell the hospital if you have an advance directive. If you have one, please bring a copy to the Admitting Office. At the time of admission, we will need to know the identity of your agent and the general nature of your preferences for your care. A clinical social worker can help you prepare an advance directive if you have not done so.
  • You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand what you have been told about your medical care or what is expected of you. Asking questions will help your care team provide the safest possible care.