When to Say 'No' to a Medical Procedure


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As modern medicine becomes more advanced, it also becomes more difficult for Latinos receiving care to understand the implications of their medical situations.
“The amount of information about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases or conditions are dizzying and overwhelming even for doctors themselves,” said Dr. Joseph Sirven, who has served the Institute of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control, in a report from NBC Latino.
According to Sirven, that the complex nature of today’s medical environment is the reason patients have trouble saying “no” to a procedure recommended by their doctors. Despite the Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2001 and 2004, which states that all patients have the right to refuse a treatment recommended by a physician, patients often find themselves consenting to procedures without being fully away of the details, he said.
Sirven provided a list of important questions he recommends people ask their physicians before approving any procedures. He said people should ask about cost, possible risks, and the consequences of opting out of the procedure.
Additionally, he said that although doctors may know more about medical conditions and procedures than their patients, the patient needs to remember that they always have the final decision.
“Remember, it is still your body, and your decision,” he advised.
(Photo by Life Mental Health via Flickr)