A right to refuse: legal aspects of dealing with intoxicated patients who refuse treatment

Butson, Lisa, Shircore, Mandy, and Butson, Ben (2013) A right to refuse: legal aspects of dealing with intoxicated patients who refuse treatment. Journal of Law and Medicine, 20. pp. 542-559.

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Abstract

Doctors in hospital emergency departments are frequently confronted with intoxicated patients who may be uncooperative, aggressive and refuse to undergo diagnosis and treatment. In the chaotic environment of the emergency department, the doctor must decide whether to override the patient's refusal and detain the patient for treatment or respect the refusal and allow the patient to leave and potentially suffer further injury. A preliminary pilot survey of emergency doctors in a regional Queensland hospital indicated that those surveyed had limited understanding of the circumstances in which they could, or could not, legally detain and continue to treat an intoxicated patient who refuses treatment, and the concomitant legal consequences. This article considers the complex common law and statutory framework existing in Queensland to determine the legal position of doctors treating intoxicated patients who refuse treatment.

Item ID: 32290
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: refusal of medical treatment; intoxicated patients
ISSN: 1320-159X
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2014 00:57
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180126 Tort Law @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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