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Right to Support Persons

Oregon Support Person Law: Implications for Patients & Families

Patients with disabilities have a right to support persons while they are in any Oregon hospital. The patient may choose at least three support persons to provide assistance and help with the patient’s care including:

 Communicating with hospital staff,
 Making medical decisions, and/or
 Care needs related to activities of daily living.

At least one support person can be with the patient at all times in the emergency department and during the entire hospital stay. The Oregon Health Authority will evaluate hospital compliance with these state law requirements related to support persons.

Important elements of Oregon’s Support Person Law that you should know:

• Patients with disabilities may pick support persons to stay with them in the hospital when necessary to accommodate their disability.
• Unless a patient states otherwise, a hospital must make sure that a support person is present for any discussion where the patient is asked to make an end of life decision. A patient’s legal guardian or authorized representative must be included in those discussions.
• A hospital can require a support person to follow hospital safety protocols including wearing personal protective equipment provided by the hospital and restricting physical access if the support person is sick or has flu-like symptoms.

If you have a concern about your care or if you need a support person based on your disability, please bring it to the attention of your nurse, a nurse leader, or a patient advocate in this hospital.

Please give the hospital the opportunity to quickly help resolve your concern about access to a support person and/or patient care.

A printable copy of the hospitals support person policy can be requested/found here: 


See our policy on Support Persons for Patients with Disabilities here:


Oregon Health Authority

You may contact the Oregon Health Authority, Health Care Regulation and Quality Improvement division, at by phone at: 971-673-0540, or by email at:

Learn More About Your Rights

Disability Rights Oregon’s website:
References: Oregon Administrative Rules Oregon Revised Statutes

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