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Paper Topic:

Patient right to refuse treatmnet

Running head : Patient Right to Refuse Treatment

Patient Right to Refuse Treatment

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Patient Right to Refuse Treatment The law recognizes the right of the patient to refuse medical treatment . This right includes the refusal of life-saving treatment which could lead to death . The expression of a patient 's refusal could be made either before the administration of the treatment or at a prior and advanced time , well ahead of future incompetence (Michalowski 2005

The recognition by the law of the patient 's right is

so strong and resolute , such that the disregard of the patient 's wishes through the administration of medical treatment despite his refusal would amount to battery (Michalowski , 2005

The above explained recognition by the law on the patient 's right to refuse medical treatment reflects the policy of the law to recognize the autonomy of patients , which stands on a higher footing than the interest of the state to protect the life and health of its citizens . However this does not mean that the state abandons its duty to protect its citizens ' lives . Patient autonomy would only be respected if it shows competence to decide on the part of the patients . The reason behind this policy is that the principle of the sanctity of human life must yield to the principle of self-determination (Michalowski , 2005

One issue regarding consent or refusal of medical treatment is the reasonableness of the decision to uphold individual autonomy over the value of sanctity of human life . Moreover , there is the question of the necessary guidelines or signs before it could be decided that that a person exercised all necessary and rational steps before he arrived at a decision that could prolong or curtail his life

A patient is a person who has the right to decide everything that has to do with his own life . However , together with this right comes the responsibility to act responsibly . Before a patient 's refusal of medical treatment , it must be ensured that he is competent to make such an important decision . It must be ensured that he is apprised of all the facts necessary for him to make an intelligent decision . Thus , the patient must be told about the "nature and purpose of the procedure When making the decision , the patient must not be influenced by external factors . Finally , it must be made clear that the decision would apply to future circumstances (Michalowski , 2005

An advanced refusal against medical treatment is especially problematic in situations where the medical treatment is made necessary at a time that the patient is no longer competent to make decision . In such situations , the physician can no longer assess the competence of the patient at the time that the advanced directive was made . Thus , it is difficult to determine the validity and applicability of such advanced directive . The ambiguity extends to the meaning by the patient to the advanced directive at the time that he executed it . There is no means of...

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