What would you do if a patient refuses care?

What would you do if a patient refuses care?

When Patients Refuse Treatment

  1. Patient Education, Understanding, and Informed Consent.
  2. Explore Reasons Behind Refusal.
  3. Involve Family Members and Caregivers.
  4. Document Your Actions.
  5. Keep the Door Open.

When can you accept a patient’s refusal of care?

Patients are allowed to refuse care as long as they understand their particular medical situation and the potential risk and benefit they’re assuming. The reason for the refusal is not as important as the process by which the decision to refuse is made.

What can a nurse do if a patient refuses treatment?

1. Because a client legally has the right to refuse medication, the nurse can only recommend, advise, suggest, or urge the patient to comply. Consequently, it is important to understand the nurse’s response to patient refusal of medication.

Does a patient have the right to refuse 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.

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;

How do you document refusal of care?

Can nurses refuse patients?

The American Nurses Association (ANA) upholds that registered nurses – based on their professional and ethical responsibilities – have the professional right to accept, reject or object in writing to any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at serious risk for harm.

What actions should be taken by the nurse when caring for a client that has refused prescribed medications?

If a client is refusing and saying they don’t want to take their medication, you should:

  • Try to find out the reason why e.g. unpleasant side effects?
  • Explain calmly the consequences of not taking their prescribed medication.
  • If no reason given, wait a while and ask again.

What is refusal treatment?

Patients who refuse your care Patients may refuse treatment. A patient has the right to personal consideration and respect, however a patient cannot select who provides care for them on the grounds of prejudice.