A patient who refused medical advice: The doctor and patient should look for a common ground

  • SF Tong
  • Chen Robert
Keywords: Against medical advice, decision making


Treatment refusal is a common encounter in clinical practice. The process of deciding to refuse treatment is often complex.It is our responsibility to try and understand this process of decision making and the underlying reasons for treatmentrefusal. Many of these reasons are often rational in the context where the decision is made. The patients could be makingthe best decision for themselves even if these decisions are not necessarily the best in our mind. We should at all timesdiscuss our treatment options and assess their ability to make decisions in achieving common goals. These goals shouldbalance our best treatment strategies and the patients’ best interest. This article discusses the reasons underlyingtreatment refusal and how we can achieve a common goal with our patients.


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How to Cite
TongS., & RobertC. (2007). A patient who refused medical advice: The doctor and patient should look for a common ground. Malaysian Family Physician, 2(3), 4. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/263
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