What are the Non-Acceptable Grounds for a Doctor to Not Treat a Patient


Everyone, regardless of who they are, has a right to proper medical care and good health. This is why doctors cannot just decide that they want to stop treating a patient.

Any doctor who doesn’t have a solid well-established reason for removing a patient from their patient list leaves themselves open to lawsuits and the possibility of having their license suspended or revoked.

Can doctors withdraw their services from certain patients and refuse to treat them? Yes, they can. But that’s under specific circumstances and in accordance with the Medical Council’s ethical standard.

The truth is a doctor refusing a patient treatment is usually no easy feat. In fact, the doctor and patient’s relationship would have degenerated so badly that the only viable option would be for the patient to go get their treatment from someone else.

These circumstances are usually very rare, which is why it’s not really an issue. It’s also why it never really comes up in discussions. For many people, the conclusion is if a doctor isn’t interested in treating you, just go elsewhere, get your treatment and move on with your life.

However, if you’re curious about situations or reasons in which a doctor cannot in any way, refuse you treatment, the following should help.

Harsh Criticism of the Doctor or Establishment

Here’s the truth, every patient has something to say about their doctor or other healthcare personnel that they encounter while there. The good news is that the bulk of those who have opinions typically keep it to themselves. And if they’re going to air their grievances, they do it in such a polite, courteous manner.

But, there’s the tiny handful that is brash, aggressive and downright nasty. These patients can be a real pain and a source of worry for doctors. They can also have very negative or critical opinions of your practice. And because they’re ‘unfiltered’, they’ll say it as it is.

Harsh criticism of your establishment though isn’t grounds for not treating them. Even if you don’t like them, you’re still obligated to help them get better by offering your services. This is in keeping with the medical council’s ethical practices.

It’s not an easy task, but you just have to stick with it until they’re discharged. If not, people like that can actually hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney Brooklyn or anywhere near them to sue you. Be smart, don’t let them get to you.

Have a Need for Specific Treatments

Unless you’re a GP, most medical doctors have their various specializations. From cardiology to internal medicine to plastic surgery, to oncology, there are a ton of specialized areas for doctors.

The point is specialists only often attend cases that are within their areas of expertise. The problem with that is, if they have patients who need treatments they don’t offer, there’s not much they can do about it.

But if the patient requires their unique specialization, they have to offer those services. The only condition in which you can probably reject a patient is if their medical needs far supersede your current skillset. And even then, it’s better to refer them to other specialists, instead of turning them down flat.

Patient-Related to Someone You’ve Already Stopped Treating

A good example of this is refusing treatment to a child just because you’ve stopped treating the father and your relationship didn’t end well.

You have a duty to ensuring the child gets the best medical care possible. So, even if you have something personal against the relative, it is a doctor’s obligation to still treat their relatives regardless.

This is why you’ll find doctors putting aside their personal animosities when a former friend rushes to the hospital with their children or loved ones seeking medical help.

The only grounds in which they may not be able to do anything is if the patient and/or his family blatantly refuses the doctor’s help.

Social Class, Gender, Sexuality, and Race

Doctors are mandated to treat everyone regardless of class gender or race. So, you do not have any reason to turn away or reject a patient just because they’re from a lower social status, have binary s**uality or are African American.

Doing that automatically leaves you open to lots of lawsuits, and controversies. Smart doctors understand the importance of avoiding controversies that bring negative attention to them and their practice. If you’ve been doing any of these or intend to do one or more of these, please stop.

These are not good enough grounds to reject a patient, remove from your list and refuse them treatment. The backlash and possible cases afterward will probably cripple your practice.