When you are diagnosed with illness or disease, or while you are in the hospital, you may be faced with a number of decisions. Some may be as simple as choosing your meals from the menu. Others may be more difficult, such as making a decision about an operation or treatment option. This information has been designed to help you deal with the difficult choices.

Begin by asking questions

Cleveland Clinic is not only a hospital, but also a teaching institution. Some of the physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers may be in training, gaining valuable experience beyond their basic academic preparation. You should speak with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about this.

Below, find some frequently asked questions to consider:

What kinds of questions should I ask?

  1. Why is this procedure or treatment necessary?
  2. Are there any other reasonable alternatives?
  3. What might happen to me if I do not have the treatment?
  4. What can I reasonably anticipate the outcome to be?
  5. What are the major risks involved?
  6. What is likely to be ahead? What are the best and the worst scenarios?
What Are My Rights as a Patient?

What Are My Rights as a Patient?

Cleveland Clinic values the rights of patients to be knowledgeable regarding their decisions related to healthcare. Cleveland Clinic's Patient Rights and Responsibilities statement describes your rights as a patient receiving care as well as your responsibilities as an active participant in your care.

One of your rights as a patient is informed consent

Informed consent means that you have been given information about a specific treatment, you understand its risks and benefits, and you agree to it. In general, informed consent is given for specific treatments such as surgery, procedure, transfusion, to name a few. You cannot give meaningful consent unless you are informed and understand the information.