All competent adults have the right to refuse medical treatment or transport

February 24, 2019 Medical

All competent adults have the right to refuse medical treatment or transport. It is the responsibility for the pre-hospital care provider to be sure that the patient is fully informed about their situation and the possible implications of refusing treatment or transport. An EMT should follow the protocol for “General Approach to Pre-hospital Patient Management” and any other treatment protocol which is required to the patient’s condition and your assessment of the patient. When the patient or legal guardian refuses treatment or requests that you discontinue further treatment of the patient, an EMT shouldn’t initiate any new treatment modalities. An EMT can discuss with the patient the need for treatment and/or transport. If the patient still refuses treatment and/or transport and you feel the patient’s condition requires treatment or transport, allow the patient’s family members, friends or anyone who is familiar with the patient to try and convince the patient of the need of transport or treatment. If patient still refuses treatment or transport and the patient is 18 years of age or older, or is an emancipated minor, or is the parent of child or has married, an EMT should assess level of consciousness using AVPU and GCS. Attempt to obtain vital signs and repeat APUV and GCS every 5 to 10 minutes. Evaluate the patient for any apparent or physical conditions, which may limit the patient’s ability to think rationally. For example, psychiatric or behavioral disorders, patient presents a danger to themselves or others, evidence of abuse to the patient, inability to ambulate, or current alcohol or drug use. If patient is alert with a GCS of 15 and no evidence of any apparent medical or physical conditions, which may limit the patient’s ability to think rationally. If the patient still refuses treatment or transport offer to call Medical Control or the patient’s own physician and have the patient speak with the physician. If the patient is under the age of 18, or not an emancipated minor, or is not the parent of a child, or is not married refuses medical aid, these individuals cannot legally refuse treatment. In an emergency situation when a parent or guardian is not available to give consent, emergency treatment and transport should be rendered based on implied consent.

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