Know Your Rights


You Have the Right to Make Decisions about Treatment

Adults in New York State have the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including life sustaining treatment. Our constitution and state laws protect this right. This means that you have the right to request or consent to treatment, to refuse treatment before it has started and to have treatment stopped once it has begun.

You Have the Right to Decide About Emergency Treatment to Restart Your Heart and Lungs

Your right to decide about treatment includes the right to decide about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), an emergency treatment to restart the heart and lungs when your breathing or circulation stop. Sometimes doctors and patients decide in advance that CPR should not be provided, and the doctor gives the medical staff an order not to resuscitate (DNR order). If your physical or mental condition prevents you from deciding about CPR, someone you appoint, your family members or others close to you can decide.

You Have the Right to Decide About Do Not Intubate (DNI) Orders

Do Not Intubate (DNI) means that no breathing tube will be placed in the throat in the event of breathing difficulties or respiratory arrest. If you stop breathing, you will not be placed on an artificial breathing machine, and the insertion of a tube or mechanical ventilation will not be initiated. The DNI order can be a separate Advance Directive from the DNR order, but in most cases they are ordered together.

Self-determination is the right to participate in your health care decision-making.

Advance Directives are written documents that assist you in communicating your wishes regarding your medical care if you become physically or mentally unable to communicate due to an accident or illness.