This hospital respects your personal preferences and values.


While you are a patient at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, you have the right to:

  • Be cared for with consideration and respect in a safe environment.
  • Be well informed about your illness, possible treatments, and likely outcomes and to discuss this information with your doctor.
  • Have a family member and/or your personal physician be notified that you’ve been admitted to the hospital.
  • Know the names and roles of the people treating you.
  • Have an advance directive.
  • Receive information about pain management measures and to have staff respond quickly to your reports of pain.
  • Expect that the hospital will give you necessary health services to the best of its ability. If treatment referral or transfer is recommended, you have the right to be informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives.
  • Know if this hospital has relationships with outside parties that may influence your treatment and care.
  • Consent or decline to take part in research affecting your care.
  • Be told of realistic care alternatives when hospital care is no longer appropriate.
  • Know about hospital rules that affect your treatment and about charges and payment methods.
  • Know about hospital resources, such as patient representatives or the Ethics Committee, that can help you resolve problems and questions about your hospital stay and care.
  • Be as free as possible of pain or other distressing symptoms. You may call the Palliative Care team any time at 304-293-7618.
  • Ask a patient advocate to help you resolve any problems.


While you are a patient in the hospital, you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide information about your health, including past illnesses, hospital stays, and use of medication.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
  • Tell your physician if you cannot follow through with a prescribed treatment.
  • Be considerate of the needs of other patients, staff, and the hospital.
  • Provide insurance information and work with the hospital to arrange payment, when needed.
  • Recognize the effect of lifestyle on your personal health.

The handling and resolution of a conflict concerning the care of a patient will be dealt with according to West Virginia University Hospitals Policy IV.190.

The Role of the Hospital Ethics Committee
J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital has an Ethics Committee to help you with difficult decisions and to help resolve conflicts, should they occur, between you and your physician or members of your family.

The Ethics Committee includes doctors, nurses, social workers, ethicists, a hospital administrator, and a hospital chaplain. These professionals have expertise in helping to make healthcare decisions and to resolve conflict. Their advice often has proven to be helpful.

If you would like to talk to the Ethics Committee, we encourage you to ask your doctor or nurse to contact the committee for you. If you wish, you may contact the Ethics Committee by calling 304-598-4167.

The Living Will and The Medical Power of Attorney
As a patient, you also have the right to give directions to your family and physicians about the healthcare you would want in the future should you become unable to make decisions for yourself. These directions are best given in written documents called advance directives.

West Virginia has two forms of written advance directives that are recognized by state law: the living will and the medical power of attorney. A living will must be written with at least one witness present. This determines the withholding or withdrawing of life-prolonging intervention. It is completed voluntarily.

A medical power of attorney representative is someone 18 years of age or older who was appointed by another person to make healthcare decisions according to the provisions of West Virginia law (or similar laws in other states).

If you have not completed a living will or medical power of attorney document, the hospital encourages you to consider doing so before or shortly after your admission. If you would like help, please let your doctor or nurse know, and he or she can arrange for you to receive copies of these forms and the information needed to help complete them.

J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital recognizes a patient’s right to complete a living will and a medical power of attorney, and it is hospital policy that these documents be respected by hospital personnel. Physicians who cannot in good conscience follow a patient’s directive may ask to be excused from the patient’s care. Transfer of the patient’s care to another physician will be arranged.

Completion of advance directives is voluntary and is not a condition for admission to the hospital or for continued stay in the hospital.

If you choose not to complete an advance directive and become too sick to make decisions for yourself, the hospital will follow the West Virginia Health Care Decisions Act of 2000 in selecting a surrogate to assist in making medical decisions for you. By law, the surrogate is usually a close family member or a friend. If you want a specific individual to make decisions for you if you become too sick to make them yourself, please inform your physician.

Concerns and Complaints

We are committed to providing the highest quality of care. If you have an unsatisfactory experience, please let us know. You can call the patient advocate at 304-598-4167, the nurse manager on your unit, or the hospital administrator at 304-598-4200.

If the hospital does not respond to your complaint to your satisfaction, or if you are unhappy for another reason, you may contact:

Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification
(to report violations and to request an inspection of the facility)
WV Department of Health and Human Resources
408 Leon Sullivan Way
Charleston, WV 25301

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
WV Department of Health and Human Resources
408 Leon Sullivan Way
Charleston, WV 25301
304-558-3498 (fax)

Protective Services (Child and Adult)
WV Department of Health and Human Resources
350 Capitol St., Room 730
Charleston, WV 25301

Abuse Hotline (Child and Adult)

West Virginia Advocates, Inc.
1207 Quarrier St.
Suite 400
Charleston, WV 25301

State Ombudsman c/o West Virginia Commission on Aging
Charleston Towne Center Mall
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305

Ombudsman c/o Legal Aid of WV
922 Quarrier St., 4th Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
800-834-0598 or

WV Legal Services Plan
165 Scott Ave, Suite 209
Morgantown, WV 26508

Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO)
(for concerns about the quality of care received under the Medicaid Program)
West Virginia Medical Institute
3001 Chesterfield Avenue
Charleston, WV 25304-1100

Also, complaints can be made to The Joint Commission: