Dr. Kathy Peterson Publishes Article on Informed Refusal of Health Care Measures

This article discusses the principles of informed consent and informed refusal (IR) in the context of patient-centered care and evidence-based practice, the right of patients to refuse care when properly informed, and the implications of IR for nursing practice.

Do patients have the right to decline healthcare procedures? A patient’s right to refuse care is based on the ethical principle of autonomy. According to this principle, every person has the right to make their own decisions about their healthcare. Health care providers need to ensure that the patient is informed, that all aspects of treatment have been explained, risks and benefits discussed fully, and that the potential outcomes of a lack of treatment are also discussed and understood. If a patient refuses care after being fully informed of the consequences, the health care provider must not impose their own beliefs or decisions.

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