What is meant by refusal of treatment?

What is meant by refusal of treatment?

This is a decision to refuse particular medical treatments for a time in the future when you may be unable to make such a decision. You can refuse a treatment that could potentially keep you alive (known as life-sustaining treatment).

Why would a patient refuse treatment?

Patients may refuse treatments for many reasons, including financial concerns, fear, misinformation, and personal values and beliefs. Exploring these reasons with the patient may reveal a solution or a different approach.

Why is refusal of treatment an ethical dilemma?

In general, ethical tension exists when a physician’s obligation to promote a patient’s best interests competes with the physician’s obligation to respect the patient’s autonomy. “When you don’t take your medication, you’re more likely to get sick.”

What are a few examples of when a patient can refuse treatment?

1 Accordingly, the patient may refuse to be informed about their medical condition and make a decision. An example would be the statement, “I don’t want to hear anything from you. I’m not going to the hospital.” They may be informed and then refuse to make a decision. “Wow, that sounds bad either way.

Can you refuse medication?

The California Patient’s Guide: II – Your Right to Informed Consent. Chapter II. You have the right to know all risks, benefits and treatment alternatives before consenting to any treatment. You have the right to refuse treatment by withholding your consent.

Is it a constitutional right to refuse treatment?

The Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The principle that a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment may be inferred from our prior decisions.

What is it called when a patient refuses treatment?

Informed refusal is where a person has refused a recommended medical treatment based upon an understanding of the facts and implications of not following the treatment. Informed refusal is linked to the informed consent process, as a patient has a right to consent, but also may choose to refuse.

What are the patient’s rights to refuse treatment?

Entwined with the right to informed consent is the right to refuse. For most non-life threatening treatments you have a right to refuse medical treatment. Under federal law, the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) guarantees the right to refuse life sustaining treatment at the end of life.

Can I decline treatment?

Every competent adult has the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment. This is part of the right of every individual to choose what will be done to their own body, and it applies even when refusing treatment means that the person may die.

Is it ethical to refuse treatment?

Competent patients have a right to refuse treatment. This concept is supported not only by the ethical principle of autonomy but also by U.S. statutes, regulations and case law. Competent adults can refuse care even if the care would likely save or prolong the patient’s life.

How do you document patient refusal?


  1. describe the intervention offered;
  2. identify the reasons the intervention was offered;
  3. identify the potential benefits and risks of the intervention;
  4. note that the patient has been told of the risks — including possible jeopardy to life or health — in not accepting the intervention;

When can you not refuse medical treatment?

Altered mental status: Patients may not have the right to refuse treatment if they have an altered mental status due to alcohol and drugs, brain injury, or psychiatric illness. 6 Children: A parent or guardian cannot refuse life-sustaining treatment or deny medical care from a child.