Patient Non-Discrimination Sample Policies & Statements
The following excerpts from healthcare organizations' patient non-discrimination policies (or patients' bills of rights) meet the Patient Non-Discrimination criteria of including the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.”
Faulkner Hospital (Boston, MA)
This is a concise non-discrimination policy with clear, LGBTQ-inclusive language.
It is the policy of Faulkner Hospital to treat all patients and not to discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.
Group Health Central Hospital (Seattle, WA)
Group Health Cooperative shall operate in a manner that does not unlawfully discriminate against people on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy) age, sexual orientation (including gender identity and expression), marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law. Group Health prohibits retaliation against any person because he or she opposed or complained about discrimination in good faith, assisted in good faith in the investigation of a discrimination complaint, or participated in a discrimination charge or other proceeding under federal, state, or local anti-discrimination law.
Rush University (Chicago, IL)
This university affiliated hospital’s LGBTQ non-discrimination policy delineates its application to all members of the university community.
Discrimination or harassment against any member of the Rush University Medical Center community (i.e., employee, faculty, house staff, student, or patient) because of age, ancestry, color, disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, gender, gender identity and/or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran's status or any other categories protected by federal or state law is prohibited and will not be tolerated, nor will any person for those reasons be excluded from the participation in or denied the benefits of any program or activity within Rush University Medical Center or Rush University.
UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco, CA)
It is the policy of UCSF Medical Center not to engage in discrimination against, or harassment of, any person employed or seeking employment or patient care with UCSF Medical Center on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical, mental or other disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized). Non-discrimination information is available in an alternate form of communication to meet the needs of people with sensory impairments.
Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center (New York, NY)
This LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination policy makes it clear that it applies to all facets of patient care. Additionally, this policy goes the extra step of declaring respect of their patient’s gender identity and preferred pronouns, extending a clear welcome to transgender patients.
It is the policy of MSBI to provide equitable health care without discrimination against, or harassment of, any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, language, religion, sex, age, disability, citizenship, marital status, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity (the patient’s preferred gender will be respected, and the patient will be referred to by their name and pronoun of choice, whenever feasible) or other non-medically relevant factor or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. Any such discrimination or harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated. This applies to admission, treatment, discharge or other participation in any of MSBI’s programs, services or activities, including, but not limited to: all patient admissions; all care, whether inpatient, outpatient or emergency in nature; all patients’ room, floor or section assignments or transfers, except in those cases where patient safety or health condition is a necessary consideration; and employee assignments to patient services.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH)
This patient non-discrimination policy for a pediatric facility specifically incorporates the patient’s family in the non-discrimination statement, addressing the worries faced by same-sex parents.
Patients and parents/guardians have the right: to be treated considerately and respectfully regardless of the patient and/or family’s race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, cultural background, economic status, education or illness.
Vanderbilt Hospital and Clinics (Nashville, TN)
We will treat you without regard to your race, nationality, religion, beliefs, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or source of payment.
Saint Luke’s Health System (Kansas City, MO)
The patient has the right to treatment without discrimination as to race, age, religion, sex, national origin, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or source of payment.
Veterans Health Administration
You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. Consistent with Federal law, VA policy, and accreditation standards of The Joint Commission, you will not be subject to discrimination for any reason, including for reasons of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
Policy Statements from Healthcare Provider Organizations
The following national healthcare provider organizations have passed supportive policy statements on patient non-discrimination inclusive of both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
American Academy of Physician Assistants
Physician assistants should not discriminate against classes or categories of patients in the delivery of needed health care. Such classes and categories include gender, color, creed, race, religion, age, ethnic or national origin, political beliefs, nature of illness, disability, socioeconomic status, physical stature, body size, gender identity, marital status, or sexual orientation.
– Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession [www.aapa.org]
American Medical Association
Our AMA will encourage and work with state medical societies to provide a sample printed nondiscrimination policy suitable for framing, and encourage individual physicians to display for patient and staff awareness-as one example: "This office appreciates the diversity of human beings and does not discriminate based on race, age, religion, ability, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity." (Res. 414, A-04; Modified: BOT Rep. 11, A-07)
– AMA Policy Regarding Sexual Orientation [www.ama-assn.org]
American Medical Student Association
OPPOSES all public and private discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including in: medical school admissions, promotion and graduation; postgraduate placement; hospital staff appointments; licensure; availability of health services; and access to social welfare; (2008).
– Principles Regarding Sexuality [www.amsa.org]
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The patient-physician relationship: The welfare of the patient (beneficence) is central to all considerations in the patient-physician relationship. Included in this relationship is the obligation of physicians to respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals. The respect for the right of individual patients to make their own choices about their health care (autonomy) is fundamental. The principle of justice requires strict avoidance of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, perceived gender, and any basis that would constitute illegal discrimination (justice).
– Code of Professional Ethics [www.acog.org]
American Association of Family Physicians
The AAFP opposes all discrimination in any form, including but not limited to, that on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic affiliation, health, age, disability, economic status, body habitus or national origin. (1996) (2010 COD)
– Discrimination, Patient [www.aafp.org]
American College of Healthcare Executives
ACHE works to foster an inclusive environment that recognizes the contributions and supports the advancement of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability because an inclusive environment can enhance the quality of healthcare, improve hospital/community relations, and positively affect the health status of society. This priority is reflected in ACHE's various activities and initiatives.
– Statement on Diversity [www.ache.org]
American Academy of Pediatrics
The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is “to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and wellbeing for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.” In support of this mission, therefore, the AAP is opposed to discrimination in the care of any patient on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veteran status, immigration status, or disability of the patient or patient's parent(s) or guardian(s).
– Nondiscrimination in Pediatric Health Care [www.aap.org]