Patient Rights

Medical Records

New York State Law gives patients and other qualified individuals access to medical records. There are some restrictions on what may be obtained and fees may be charged by physicians, other health care professionals and facilities for providing copies. You may request copies of all or any part of your medical record after you go home. Since your medical record is a legal document, it cannot be removed, deleted or altered. You can, however, request that your record be corrected or amended. For further information, please call the Health Information Department at (585) 396-6720.

Patient Non-Discrimination:

All patients will receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment or age.

Patient Rights

Thompson Health believes you have both the right and the responsibility to be an active participant in your health care. There are often difficult decisions that need to be made when dealing with your health. Thompson provides these resources in hopes that some of your decisions will be clearer and easily understood. If you are unclear about any decisions placed before you, ask your nurse or physician for further clarification and she or he will be able to assist you.

Patient Satisfaction and Safety

While you are here, if you would like to share a compliment about a specific Associate or care team, or if you feel for any reason that we have not lived up to our CARES values and want to discuss this, or want to report a discrimination incident you may call the Customer Service Excellence Line at (585) 396-6434 and speak to a Thompson Health representative. If you have a patient safety concern about your medical care you want to discuss, call the Patient Safety Hotline at (585) 396-6793 and speak to a Thompson Health representative. Further reports can be made to The Joint Commission at, or by calling (800) 994-6610.

Advance Directives

As health care providers, we have seen too often the devastating circumstances that result from individuals not having a signed proxy and a completed living will.

A Health Care Proxy is a document that lets you name someone to make health care decision for you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself.   The Health Care Proxy form appoints someone to speak for you any time you are unable to make your own medical decisions, not only at the end of life.

The New York Living Will lets you state your wishes about medical care in the event that you develop an irreversible condition that prevents you from making your own medical decision. The Living Will becomes effective if you become terminally ill, permanently unconscious or minimally conscious due to brain damage and will never regain the ability to make decisions. Persons who want to indicate under what set of circumstances they favor or object to receiving any specific treatments use the New York Living Will.


  • You do not need to notarize your New York Health Care Proxy form or New York Living Will.   
  • You do not need a lawyer to fill out these forms. 
  • These documents will be legally binding only if the person completing them is a competent adult (at least 18 years old), the signing of the documents are properly witnessed, and the documents are available when needed.

Thompson Health strongly encourages individuals to take the time to complete these forms. It will make a difficult time less stressful for your family and loved ones. If you need these forms, or have general questions about completing these forms, please ask your nurse or social worker.

Special Note: Federal health care privacy law, HIPAA, does not require changes to existing Advance Directives, including Living Wills, Proxies and Health Care Powers of Attorney.

The advance directive forms are based on the state law of New York State. The instructions for completing these forms are intended to inform you about state law in New York and should not be construed as legal advice. You do not need an attorney to complete these forms, however, you may determine that you need more assistance than is presented in the form and the instructions.

The information and documents are provided on an "as is" basis, without warranty. Thompson Health shall not have any liability to any person or entity with regard to any liability, loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information provided.

Learn more about Assigning a Health Care Proxy and download the New York Health Care Proxy form

Difficult Decisions

Patients and families are often faced with difficult decisions during hospitalizations. If you have concerns regarding whether to start, stop or continue specific treatment, disagreement or misunderstandings among family members regarding decisions about a patient’s care or difficulty communicating with a patients’ caregiver, a team of specially trained individuals is available. You can request a consultation by asking your doctor, nurse, social worker or chaplain.


Learn more about Assigning a Health Care Proxy and download the New York Health Care Proxy form