Patient and Institution Rights

a doctor examining his patient at a hospitalPeople with disabilities have the absolute right to be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation, no matter where they live or receive services. They and their guardians must be involved in the decisions that affect their lives, including treatment, where to live, where to receive services, whether to work, and how to spend free time. So that people with disabilities can make informed decisions, facilities and programs must provide information about their rights, how to exercise those rights, and how to challenge decisions when they do not agree.

People with disabilities who live in institutions have rights under federal and state laws. These rights include:

  • The right to due process when being committed to an institution;
  • The right to humane, dignified, and respectful treatment, free from abuse and neglect, while in an institution; and,
  • The right to appropriate discharge planning when leaving an institution.


We provide advocacy and legal services in response to a variety of rights violations in institutions and programs. We help ensure that people with disabilities are safe, receive high-quality care and have their rights enforced.


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