1. Health

How to Make the Decision to Refuse Medical Treatment

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Updated January 27, 2014

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Introduction

Once we've learned about all our treatment options, sometimes our inclination is to just say no, we don't want to choose any of them. In most circumstances, the ability to refuse treatment is a patient's right.

However, it's entirely possible we could make that choice based on flawed information. For example, if we were misdiagnosed; if our doctors didn't explain all our treatment options; if we do not understand our religious tenets clearly; or if we aren't aware of the actual costs of care or of financial assistance, then refusing care may be the wrong choice, causing us additional grief or unnecessary problems with our health.

It's important that the choices we make about whether or not to accept medical treatment be informed decisions. Here are some steps to take to be sure that if you do refuse, you are doing so having informed yourself with all the facts you need:

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