Ethical and Legal Issues


Jamaica Hospital Medical Center recognizes and respects each patient in the provision of care in accord with fundamental human, civil, constitutional and statutory rights to improve patient outcomes and patient and family satisfaction. JHMC affirms the patient’s right to make decisions regarding his or her care, including the decision to discontinue treatment, to the extent permitted by law. We will endeavor to assist you or your representative, when appropriate, to exercise those rights by referring you to the appropriate service, whether it be your attending physician, general counsel, or another member of the health care team.

We also provide a forum, the ethics committee, to discuss ethical issues and concerns which arise from patient care and treatment. If you have a question, concern or conflict regarding your care that you feel may be appropriate for consultation with the ethics committee, please bring it to the attention of a member of the health care team, or contact a member of the committee directly by dialing ‘0’ on your telephone.

The Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management


The Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management is responsible for all patient-related questions and concerns regarding advance directives and consent. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To contact the Office of Legal Affairs, call 718-206-6858

Advance Directives


Adults in New York State have the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including that which would be considered life-sustaining. Advance directives are verbal or written instructions made by you prior to an incapacitating illness or injury. These directives communicate your wishes regarding your medical treatment and ensure that they will be followed if you are too ill or unable to make decisions about your own care. Advance directives include, but are not limited to, the following:

Health Care Proxy


By completing a health care proxy form, you can appoint someone you trust, who knows your wishes regarding medical treatment, to make these decisions in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order


This document, which conveys your wishes regarding cardio-pulmonary resuscitation if your heart stops, is recorded and kept in your medical record.

Living Will


If you have no one you can or wish to appoint to make or carry out your decisions concerning medical treatment, you can give specific instructions, in advance, by writing a living will. You can also give verbal instructions to your physician, family members or others close to you.

For further information on advance directives and a complete listing of the Patients’ Bill of Rights, please refer to the booklet, “Your Rights as a Hospitalized Patient in New York State,” which you received at the time of your admission.