Veterans Guide to VA Healthcare →
Patient Rights and Responsibilities →
Respect and Nondiscrimination
5.1. Respect and Nondiscrimination
- You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. Your privacy will be protected. You will receive care in a safe environment. VA will honor your personal and religious values.
- You and any persons you choose will be involved in all decisions about your care. You can agree to or refuse treatment, and consider options. Refusing treatment will not affect your rights to future care, but you take responsibility for the possible results.
- You may allow a family member, friend, or other individual to be present with you for emotional support during your hospital stay. (NOTE: The presence of a support individual of your choice is allowed, unless that individual's presence infringes on others' rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. This individual may or may not be your surrogate decision maker or legally authorized representative.)
- You will be given the name and title of all providers involved in your care, including students and trainees.
- You have the right to be fully informed about your treatment plan. If you believe you cannot follow the treatment plan, you have a responsibility to notify your provider or treatment team.
- You have the right to have your pain assessed, to receive treatment to manage your pain, and to participate in developing a pain management plan.
- You have the right to choose whether you will participate in any research project related to your treatment.
- Treatment will respect your personal freedoms. In rare cases, the use of medication and physical restraints may be used if all other efforts to keep you or others free from harm have not worked.
- You will be involved in resolving any ethical issues about your care including participation in decision-making and care at the end of life and you may seek guidance from your health care facility's Medical Ethics Consultation Service.
- You or someone you choose has the right to keep and spend your money. You have the right to receive an accounting of any VA held funds.
- As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you may wear your own clothes. You may keep personal items. This will depend on your medical condition.
- As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you have the right to social interaction and regular exercise. You will have the opportunity for religious worship and spiritual support. You may decide whether to participate in these activities. You may decide whether or not to perform tasks in or for the Medical Center.
- As an inpatient or nursing home resident, you have the right to communicate freely and privately. You may have or refuse visitors. You will have access to public telephones. You may participate in civic rights, such as voting and free speech.
- As a nursing home resident, you can organize and take part in resident groups in the facility. Your family also can meet with the families of other residents.
- In order to provide a safe treatment environment for all patients or residents and staff, you are expected to respect other patients, residents and staff and to follow the facility's rules. Avoid unsafe acts that place others at risk for accidents or injuries. Please immediately report any condition you believe to be unsafe.
- Veterans Health Administration (VHA) prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.