Do you have the right to refuse medical treatment?

Don’t count on it.

The story, if you’ve missed it, began in 2003 when a construction worker was admitted to the ER at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital with a gash on his head.

He got stitches.

Then he was told he needed a rectal exam to determine if he had a spinal injury.

He didn’t want a rectal exam. A scuffle ensued. The “patient” ended up sedated & restrained.

Leave aside who’s lying and who isn’t (the hospital claimed he never got the exam; Brian Persaud says he did; the hospital says Persaud got violent, he says he slapped a doc by accident).

It seems to me it never should have gotten that far.

It seems to me that even if I, the patient, will die if I refuse a particular procedure, I should still be allowed to refuse it.

It’s my body.

Isn’t it?

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2 Responses to Do you have the right to refuse medical treatment?

  1. Patrick says:

    You’re right…but unless there’s a lot of paperwork involved that specifically explains that you were in complete understanding of the risks of not getting the test and still refused it of your own free will, even if it is YOUR body, it’s your ESTATE that will sue the hospital for not MAKING you get checked out properly.

    And with the right jury, even though it’s YOUR body, the estate will win the lawsuit.

  2. Kirsten says:

    Thanks for commenting, Patrick.

    It stinks all around, doesn’t it.

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