Patients' Refusal of Recommended Treatment

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 131 (2015) 105-108

4 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2015

See all articles by Bernard Dickens

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

When patients require information to decide whether to accept recommended treatments, a question in both law and ethics is whether the same information is adequate whether they consent or refuse, or whether refusal requires more or repeated information. Refusals of recommended treatment can carry increased risks for patients’ well-being and so require more emphatic disclosure without imposing pressure. A related question is whether guardians of dependents who would decline recommended treatment for themselves — for instance on religious grounds — can similarly decline it for their dependents. When pregnant women, children, and adolescents are able to give consent for recommended treatment, the question arises whether they are equally competent to refuse it and prevent their decisions being overridden by guardians or courts. Consenting to and refusing medical treatments recommended in one’s own or dependents’ best interests might not be the same sorts of decisions and could require different levels of disclosure and capacity.

Keywords: Capacity for treatment decisions, Children's and adolescents' consent, Consent to treatment, Guardians’ decisions for dependents, Informed consent/refusal, Pregnant women’s treatment decisions, Refusal of recommended treatment

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J., Patients' Refusal of Recommended Treatment (2015). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 131 (2015) 105-108, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2674282

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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