Medical Treatment Refusal

March 7, 2012
By Anonymous

hould any patient be allowed to refuse any type of medical treatment? I believe that any patient should. Hospitals and doctors allow their patients do decide whether or not they should have a potentially life threatening procedure. They have methods to assist the patient in their decision and also to provide security in their decision.

The patient is ultimately the one who makes the final decision. They may refuse or accept treatment based on many reasons. The DNR law or Do Not Resuscitate law is available to all people who are of sound mind and can make appropriate decisions. It allows the patient to make their decision in advance and makes it more secure. This law does vary by state with rules and regulations but ultimately it gives the person an option in advance before any treatment is necessary or suggested. Some may refuse because of religious or personal beliefs. It depends upon the patient and what they think. They may be uncomfortable with the idea of needing treatment. This could be because of the fear of the treatment itself or of the idea that it may not make a difference in the outcome. The patient could just be against treatment. If this happens, then they should have the option to refuse because the doctor will probably never know his or her patient better than the patient themselves. If the person is uncomfortable with the idea or suggestion then they should also have the option to back out no matter the doctors feeling. The doctor should never hold the patient to their on the spot decision and make them keep it if their mind has changed. Some elderly patients may refuse because they don’t have the funds or they are happy with their life and feel that it is time for them to move along and stay as they are. Many families may not have the money or ability to have a procedure done. 30% of Americans have no life insurance whatsoever, 46.3 million or 15.4% of Americans had no health insurance in 2008. Giving any person an option is the best way to go about many situations.

Although some nurses and doctors are against giving the patient the option, they are expected to do so. Again, the doctor will probably never know his or her patients as well as they know themselves. The patient will be well informed about the risks and benefits of any treatment that is suggested to them. The doctor or other health care professional is required to fully explain and review the treatment in detail before the patient makes their final decision. If they are sure at this point that they do not want anything then they should be entitled to decline. “Not many people turn down treatment in surgery” according to a local retired RN from south meadows Renown, “It could be different in other areas but in the years that I had worked at Renown, we didn’t have many patients turn anything down.”
If a person should choose to refuse treatment for anything whatsoever, then whatever the treatment was for could become more severe and a larger case. It could potentially put the patient in danger of losing his or her life. If the person is sound with their decision then it is their own choice no matter the consequences. If the patient still does not understand then they are not capable of making the appropriate decision. If this happens then the doctor should, and most likely would, consult a family member or people close to the patient and ask them to make the decision. If some diseases or illnesses are left unattended then the patient could be susceptible to other health complications. This could affect the decision as well as anything else. It is some information that should be considered when accepting or declining.

I believe that any patient should have the right to choose for themselves. It could be the best decision the person could make and it might just leave the patient happier with the outcome. Many things should be considered and thought over. There are also many reasons why a person would refuse treatment but it is still their choice and they still have the last word.

The author's comments:
This piece is about adults who refuse medical treatment and the reasons why I believe the patient has a right to accept or decline treatment.

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