Medical College of Wisconsin
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What part of "no" don't you understand? Patient refusal of recommended treatment in the emergency department. Mt Sinai J Med 2005 Jul;72(4):221-7



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-22944458904   14 Citations


Patient refusal of indicated medical treatment, especially when the treatment would be life sustaining, presents all physicians, especially emergency physicians, with the responsibility of determining whether the patient has the capacity to refuse treatment, and whether the patient's refusal is informed. These two crucial questions present a number of dilemmas for physicians who may have no prior relationship with that particular patient. The ethical and legal principles for determining decision-making capacity and assuring that refusal is informed are described, and an algorithm for responding to patient refusals is presented.

Author List

Derse AR


Arthur R. Derse MD, JD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Decision Making
Emergency Medicine
Emergency Service, Hospital
Informed Consent
Mental Competency
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Risk Assessment
Social Responsibility
Treatment Refusal
United States