It can be very confusing and frustrating to deal with if you visit a doctor with a certain symptom or condition but are refused treatment. You may even be wondering if the doctors are allowed to deny you medical treatment. The answer is yes. A doctor can refuse to treat you. However, under Federal Law, all doctors must provide emergency care to patients who need urgent help until their situation is stabilized, regardless of their insurance or their ability to pay. If a doctor has refused to treat you, you may decide to talk to a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer and figure out what steps you can take next.
Reasons why a doctor can refuse to treat a patient
There are some situations in which a doctor may refuse to treat a patient. Private doctors may refuse to treat a new patient if:
- The office of the doctor is not accepting any new patients at that time
- The patient is not able to pay for the costs of the needed treatment
- The doctor’s office does not take your health insurance
- The doctor decides not to treat patients with the particular condition you have
- You or your spouse are lawyers
Private doctors may refuse to treat existing patients if:
- They have not yet paid for the treatments they received previously
- The doctor’s office no longer accepts your health insurance
- The patient exhibits drug-seeking behavior
- The patient is abusive or disruptive or is difficult to handle
When is a doctor not allowed to refuse treatment?
A doctor is prohibited from refusing treatment if their decision is based on discrimination due to gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or religion. Doctors also cannot refuse to deliver a child, especially in a hospital, according to The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA).
Can you sue a doctor for denying you medical care?
If any unneeded delays in medical care have led to irreparable harm to you, then the doctors can be held liable for their refusal to provide you with medical treatments. You can also file a medical malpractice claim against a doctor if they refuse to treat you in an emergency.
Has a doctor denied you medical care?
In some situations, a doctor is allowed to refuse to treat you, and in other cases, it is illegal to refuse medical treatment. Talking to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand more about this and what legal steps you can take next.