Oregon’s Support Person Law for Patients and 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 help with the patient’s care, including:
- Communicating with hospital staff
- Making medical decisions
- Providing care needs related to activities of daily living
The Oregon Support Person Law also allows:
- At least one support person can be with the patient at all times in the emergency department and during the entire hospital stay.
- 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 ensure a support person is present for any discussion when 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 support person will be required 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 need a support person based on your disability, please bring it to the attention of your nurse, a nurse leader, or a hospital patient advocate. Allow the hospital to quickly resolve your concern about access to a support person.