Can a Doctor Deny a Patient Medical Treatment?

Doctors are generally trained to provide care and intervene in potentially life threatening situations. This is why they can volunteer to save someone in medical danger, even if the person isn’t their patient. In fact, in some instances, they go as far as staying with the person until emergency response arrives.

So, as a rule, doctors don’t refuse patients. However, there are certain instances where they can reject patients and deny them medical treatments. This is even more so in private practice.

How About Those in Medicare Facilities?

Doctors in Medicare-compliant establishments may not really have a choice as to who to deny and accept for treatment. But even then, there are circumstances in which they can refuse to treat a patient. But, private medical establishments have more freedom in this matter.

The one circumstance where they may not be able to deny anyone medical treatment is if there’s an emergency. Courtesy of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, all doctors are mandated to provide emergency services, until the patient is stabilized.

Once they achieve that, and have successfully handed over the patient to another doctor, they can actively stop treating that patient. They cannot just stabilize a patient and then leave them be as that patient’s condition can worsen.

Now that we’ve cleared the air on these crucial issues, let’s look at scenarios in which a medical practitioner can deny a patient medical treatment.

Lack of Expertise

One of the most common reasons doctors will deny a patient treatment is if the patient’s case is not in their wheelhouse. For instance, a patient with broken bones cannot be treated by a cardiologist. It’s not the latter’s area of expertise.

Many doctors are specialists and run clinics that are specifically designated to treat certain conditions. So, when patients requiring another specialist come, they can turn them down.

The good news is most doctors have a network of specialists that they can consult if they have a patient that needs other services. So, most doctors are often willing to refer to highly competent doctors that can actually treat your condition.

Patient’s Behavior Indicated Drug Addiction

It’s interesting, but patients who need a fix, can often pretend to have a health condition so that they can gain access to the drugs that they need. The country is currently experiencing an opioid crisis.

Many Americans are hooked on pain relief meds and even stronger medications. For many, these drugs are meant for leisure as they don’t really take these medications for a particular health condition.

As a result, there are far too many people hopped up on pills they shouldn’t even have access to in the first place. If a patient has been visiting a doctor, and their prescription drugs are getting empty very quickly, then the doctor can refuse to give them more prescription.

The same goes for anyone who visits with the intention of fueling their addiction to pills and drugs.

Patient has a Medical Malpractice Background

Doctors are often wary of treating any medical Malpractice Attorney New York City or anywhere else. Why? Because some malpractice lawyers are mischievous and go to the doctor with the intention of finding out what they’re doing wrong. That’s the truth.

So, when doctors find out, they might deny them treatment because they don’t want to have to worry about the lawyer’s actions after they’re better. The same applies to folks who are related to these lawyers. It doesn’t matter if they have a genuine need.

If the doctor feels like they won’t be able to confidently provide these patients with the care that they need, then they might deny them their service or refer them to someone else.

This is an important point because sometimes, doctors have to make judgment calls that can be counterintuitively and even considered dangerous to save lives. So, if they cannot comfortably do that for the individual, then they may refuse them treatment.

Difficult and Troublesome Patient

Unless the doctor is a psychiatrist, patients who are very difficult or disruptive might find doctors refusing them treatment. The only place in which unruly and uncontrollable patients are allowed are mental health hospitals.

A hospital is meant to be a place of recovery and safety. So, if someone’s presence, attitudes and actions suggest that they’re going to be a troublesome patient, the doctor is well within their rights to refuse the patient.

For instance, a burglar who comes into the hospital bleeding and waving a gun, might find that the doctor will refuse him treatment. This is particularly if the patient exhibits aggressive and confrontational behaviors that threaten the well-being of other patients in the hospital

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