Rights & Responsibilities

As a patient or legal guardian at UNM Children’s Hospital, you have certain rights and responsibilities. We encourage all patients and families to advocate for themselves, their children and their child's care.

Download the Joint Commission’s Speak UpTM Guide: English [PDF] or Spanish [PDF].

Your Rights

You have the right to:

  • 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.

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 if the exercise of these beliefs does not harm others or interfere with the medical treatment or the rights of others.

You have the right to:

  • 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.

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 to participate in a research project or experimental treatment.

You have the right to speak to a member of the Ethics Committee when there are ethical issues about your care. You can 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 505-994-7455.
  • 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.
  • The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610.