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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    3

    Default How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    My question involves public health law in the State of: Washington/

    I don't understand how I can protect my rights from arrogant health professionals such as Dr.s, Nurses, and Administrators. When you are there it appears they all consider you too stupid to know what's good for you.

    I was recently in a hospital for knee surgery. When the morning came to leave as the doctor told me prior to admission, I was informed that the Dr appeared to be out of town and I would have to wait until he could be reached. He had not left an alternative and as it turned out was on a weekend ski trip. I told the nurse I had no intention of waiting the weekend for him to return, I would not pay for any additional anything. I also told him that if they attempted to keep me against my will that I would call the police and tell them I was kidnapped.

    The general attitude was that I just needed to be quiet and "tow the mark". I'm 70 years old and I really don't think I've never met knows better than I how I feel.

    How can a person protect themselves from this degree of arrogance? Is there something I could have done in advance? Would they refuse to treat me if I did? Thanks KP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,785

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    You have the right to leave a hospital whenever you choose to. The only means available to keep you there would be based on a psychiatric hold. I have no idea if they might be able to push that onto you or not. As we age we do tend to lose some of out mental clarity so it is often easier to convince the powers that be that an older patient is not not capable of making their own decisions.

    Generally if you leave against medical advice they prefer you sign a form stating such although there is no legal requirement you do so


    so, the only thing you could do is pack up your stuff and head for the door and see what happens.

    If you went in with a chip on your shoulder so to speak I wouldn’t be surprised if they did decide you would be better off elsewhere.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    Nope, no chip, just hoping to survive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,785

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    Quote Quoting kparker4100
    View Post
    Nope, no chip, just hoping to survive.
    The chip was referring to your suggested doing something in advance to somehow protect yourself.

    Yhe only thing I can suggest is having an advocate (friend/family) to work on your behalf should they refuse to keep you in the hospital against your wishes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13,120

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    You have the right to leave a hospital whenever you choose to. The only means available to keep you there would be based on a psychiatric hold. I have no idea if they might be able to push that onto you or not. As we age we do tend to lose some of out mental clarity so it is often easier to convince the powers that be that an older patient is not not capable of making their own decisions.

    Generally if you leave against medical advice they prefer you sign a form stating such although there is no legal requirement you do so


    so, the only thing you could do is pack up your stuff and head for the door and see what happens.

    If you went in with a chip on your shoulder so to speak I wouldn’t be surprised if they did decide you would be better off elsewhere.
    The bolded can be difficult as normally they have an IV stuck into you. I have had some bad experiences where I was told I could go home, but that the on call doctor had to sign off on it (even though the actual doctor said I could go home) and it took them literally hours to a whole day to get that signature on a piece of paper and they refused to remove the IV until they did.

    The last time I asked the doctor who said I could go home, to order the nursing staff to immediately remove the IV, which he did. I then packed up my stuff and went home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2,428

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    Talking to your doctor Before going into the hospital might help. Doctors don't plan emergencies. And doctors have emergencies like everyone else. But, they usually have another doctor filling in for them. Usually a weekend vacation is going to scheduled. It is possible the doctor was not even on a ski weekend. The people you dealt with probably just told you that

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How Do You Maintain Your Rights Once Admitted to a Hospital

    Actually, the Dr. told me when I reached his office the following week... "I was on a ski weekend" but the person that should hve been covering didn't seem to be aware."

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